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Refusal to share distracts telecos from bigger picture

Refusal to share distracts telecos from bigger picture


from SAVIOUS KWINIKA in Johannesburg, South Africa
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) AFRICAN telecommunications operators have been encouraged to set aside their enmity and share infrastructure and ensure better delivery of services to consumers.

Due to the array of opportunities sharing of telecom infrastructure among service providers, it is becoming the requirement globally but operators in the African continent appear reluctant owing to the cut-throat competition among them.

At the annual AfricaCom held in Cape Town towards the end of 2017, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security, Supa Mandiwanzira, bemoaned the “selfishness” among the country’s three mobile network operators in his country comprising Econet Wireless, NetOne and Telecel Zimbabwe.

“There has been selfishness in terms of towers and length of fibre. A situation whereby in one site, you get three towers, three generators and three security guards is unsustainable. Private players are not seeing the benefits of infrastructure sharing and the cost to the consumer is reduced,” Mandiwanzira said.

‎In a separate interview, global technology giant, Huawei Technologies exclusively told CAJ News such operating models are impeding the growth of the operators and denying clients first-rate services.

“Infrastructure sharing can save cost and time of broadband deployment,” said Rose Moyo, the Director Enterprise Wireless Solutions (East and Southern Africa Region) at Huawei Enterprise.

She said consequently, it could enable better services to consumers and can also ensure optimisation of both capital expenditure (CAPEX)  and operational expenditure (OPEX) by limiting investment duplication and reducing maintenance costs.

“It (infrastructure sharing) can also make it more possible to expand connectivity and network coverage, especially to more challenging terrains such as areas with limited power supply and poor access, since the cost of overcoming these obstacles would be spread and shared,” Moyo highlighted.

“Additionally, it can create a more competitive and innovative
environment as it can reduce barriers to entry, therefore allowing new entrants with innovative services to lease the infrastructure and penetrate the market within a shorter time period,” Moyo said in Johannesburg.

She disclosed in the meantime, Huawei was currently targeting government and public sector, energy, transportation sector as well as the financial industries to enhance in its growth in South Africa, the continent’s most advanced economy.

South Africa however has a reputation for violent service delivery protests and suffers the impact of global warming.

“As an example, Huawei’s solutions can assist with public safety initiatives driven by the government sector, since the country often faces a diversity of challenges brought on by public safety threats, both natural and man-made,” Moyo said.

She said ICT would go long way in addressing security threats, crime and natural disasters such as fire, floods and drought.

“Another example can include more efficient and better public service delivery, achieved through the implementation of smart cities,” she said.

Huawei was among the most prominent companies at the just-ended Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.It launched the world’s first FullView Touch-screen notebook and what is hailed as the first commercial terminal device supporting the globally recognised telecommunication standard for fifth generation wireless systems, commonly known as 5G.

Locally (South Africa) , its OpenLab in Johannesburg has joint innovation areas- public safety and smart grid solutions, which will feature the development of advanced analytics for both police and power grid operations.

“Huawei is committed to working with various industry partners in South Africa to create customer-centric and innovative solutions that enable digital transformation, while promoting industry ecosystem development,” Moyo concluded.

– CAJ News



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