In line with its vision at improving connectivity in the telecommunication sector in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission has provided new guidelines on co-location and infrastructure sharing. This, accordingly, would informed would ensure unwarranted replication of infrastructure is drastically reduced if not completely avoidable.
NCC in latest guidelines on co-location and infrastructure sharing, available to our medium, TECHlife Media shows that the status which is subjected to Telecommunications Act revolved around Quality of Service (QoS) competition practices regulations, networks interconnection regulations, regulations, other laws, rules and subsidiary legislations that may be developed by the Commission from time to time and relevant License conditions.
The primary focus of these latest guidelines gathered, is to establish a regulatory framework within which Access Providers and Access Seekers to enable them negotiate C/IS arrangements.
NCC also emphasizes as indicated in page 31 of the guidelines, to ensure that the incidence of unnecessary duplication of infrastructure is reduced or avoided totally, Protect the environment by minimizing infrastructure and facility installation proliferations, Promote healthy competition through equal access granted to the installations and facilities of operators on mutually agreed terms; Minimize capital expenditure on supporting infrastructures and to free more funds for investment in core network equipment.
Ensure that the economic advantages gotten from the sharing of facilities are harnessed for the overall benefit of all telecommunications stakeholders;
furthermore, the guidelines would encourage Access Providers and Access Seekers to pursue a cost-oriented policy with the added effect of a reduction in the tariffs chargeable to consumers.
NCC also said that Infrastructure amenable to Sharing include those that could be shared without an attendant risk of lessening of competition. Stressing that it shall encourage and promote the sharing of passive infrastructure.
These, NCC listed to include “Rights of Way, Masts, Poles, ducts, trenches, space in buildings, electric power (public or private source) Antenna mast and tower structures,
Also outlined in this regards are some active infrastructure, namely complete network structures, switching centers, frequencies, radio network controllers, and base stations.
TECHlife recalls that NCC has responsibility under the Act to promote fair competition in the communications industry, encourage and support infrastructure sharing among its licensees. In addition to development of guidelines for Co-location and Infrastructure Sharing (C/IS).
These guidelines, gathered proceed from a premise that all “Access Providers and Access Seekers” have the liberty to negotiate Co-location and infrastructure sharing arrangements in accordance with mutually agreed terms.
Just as the guidelines were designed and developed to encourage C/IS between Access Providers and Access Seekers within a predetermined framework to remove uncertainty and create an environment for better co-operation.
Accordingly, TECHlife reports that these guidelines explained the Commission’s role in achieving the most efficient use of facilities amenable to sharing, thereby setting out the processes for implementing Active Infrastructure Sharing amongst Network Service Providers licensed by NCC.