The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, this week, joined global thought leaders in Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) at the on-going 2021 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain.
Danbatta, also attended other sessions at the week long event which commences on Monday, June 28 and expected to close Thursday, July 1, 2021.
Other speakers at the event include, Mario Maniewicz, Director, Radio communication Bureau, International Telecommunications Union(ITU); Hon. Timo Harakka, Minister of Transport and Communications, Finland; Amb. David Gross, Co-Chair, TMT Practice, Wiley Rein LLP; Dr. Kamal Shehadi, Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer, Etisalat Group during the GSMA Ministerial Programme.
The session description indicated that for the mobile sector, market economics and competition have been immensely successful at driving private-sector infrastructure investment and delivering mobile service that consumers demand. Today, over 95% of people worldwide have a mobile signal where they live. The formula becomes challenging, however, when a sufficient and timely return on investment cannot be foreseen, and this can affect rural and low-income communities as well as the rapid spread of 5G, for example.
Equally the panel of discussants examined the aspect of policy making taking a look at past the health crisis, they recognised connectivity as a must-have for citizens and businesses.
Experts noted that to achieve near-ubiquitous broadband, a pro-investment and pro-innovation regulatory environment is necessary, combined with cost-effective solutions to specific challenges such as infrastructure sharing. In this highly interactive session, industry leaders and policymakers will debate some of the toughest challenges related to mobile network investment and the long-term financial sustainability of the industry.
“Extracting funds from the mobile sector through taxation, spectrum licences and regulatory fees is counter-productive, considering that digital policies typically demand greater network investment by operators. What strategies can be used to get beyond this impasse?
“Can new technologies or alternative modes of connectivity provide a sustainable, scalable answer?
“What actions can governments take, and what has been successful to achieve connectivity targets?”
The GSMA Ministerial Programme is an invitation-only session.