NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Dr. Eugene Juwah
Executive Vice-President of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Eugene Juwah has traced the actual cause of incessant network congestion in the country, to lack of telecoms infrastructure backhaul.
The EVC, who dropped the hint in Dubai at the on-going International Telecommunications Union (ITU) World Conference 2012, said unless the issue of infrastructure backhaul was addressed, Nigeria would continue to suffer congestion across networks.
He called on telecoms operators in Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world, to always consider developing infrastructure backhaul that would stand as backup to support the network in periods of crisis. “Services from mobile network operators should be backhauled in order to serve more people on the network, without the slightest experience of network congestion,” Juwah said, while addressing participants at the conference.
Addressing other challenges in the Nigerian telecoms sector, Juwah said infrastructure sharing and collocation, especially in the area of fibre optic cable rollout, had also been a major challenge among telecoms operators. He however said the issue had been tackled.
“Telecoms operators fear sabotage in sharing fibre cables, and would rather prefer to rollout their own cable,” he said.
Explaining how the challenge was resolved, Juwah said the commission introduced a collective ownership of fibre rollout by the operators, with an independent consortium to manage it on behalf of all the operators.
Speaking on the economic benefit of infrastructure sharing, Juwah said it would facilitate faster infrastructure rollout, drive down the cost of telecoms services, and improve service quality.
Juwah advised telecoms operators in the African region and the entire world, to adopt the principle of convergence in telecoms, as converged technology would drive the economies of the world.
Other countries like Algeria, India, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, among others that were present at the five-day conference in Dubai, also listed their challenges in telecommunications and the measures put in place to address them.
Speaking at one of the sessions, Secretary General of ITU, Dr. Hamadoun Toure, expressed delight that the world has embraced broadband development, which he said was a sure way to address several challenges in the telecoms sectors in various regions of the world.
“Today, there are more telephone users in Africa than in the UK, which was not the case in several years past,” Toure said, adding that broadband has brought tremendous development in telecoms in Africa and the rest of the world, and encouraged countries to deploy broadband in every sector of their economies, be it health, education, sports, tourism among others.