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Airtel Nigeria's Ogunsanya urges proactive infrastructure sharing

Airtel Nigeria's Ogunsanya urges proactive infrastructure sharing.

Segun Ogunsanya, CEO and MD of Airtel Nigeria, has appealed to government to formulate regulations that will allow telcos to share spectrum and active infrastructure.

Ogunsanya says this will minimise duplication, reduce proliferation of infrastructure and facilities, promote fair competition because of equal access to spectrum and infrastructure, and minimise CAPEX that would ordinarily be required to acquire facilities.

He says, "When funds are conserved, the operators are able to invest in core network equipment that improves the quality of service for subscribers in the country who, in turn, can make use of the improved service to grow their businesses and come up with disruptive technologies that can contribute significantly to raising Nigeria's GDP."

Past efforts to implement collocation and infrastructure sharing in pursuit of cost-orientated policy and tariff reduction have been thwarted due to a lack of regulatory framework.

The Telecommunications Network Interconnection Regulations guideline was introduced by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to help regulate collocation and infrastructure sharing. However, this is not yet law.

According to the guideline, the NCC encourages operators to share rights of way, masts, poles, antenna mast and tower structures, ducts, trenches, space in buildings and electric power.

The regulator said infrastructure such as complete network structures, switching centers, radio network controllers and base stations cannot be shared.

The 12-page guideline also gave the terms and conditions for infrastructure sharing in the telecoms sector. "An operator shall provide capacity on its infrastructure to other operators on a "first - come, first served" basis, determined in accordance with the order in which it receives requests for infrastructure sharing," according to the NCC.

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