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ISPAN Backs Open Access Model to Broadband Revolution

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INTERNET Service Providers of Nigeria (ISPAN) has thrown its weight behind Open Access Model in effort to increase broadband penetration in the country.

The Open Access Model, allows for inclusive, fair and transparent licensing processes as well as incentives for investors in the industry.

Engr. Sunday Folayan, president, ISPAN told Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, that federal government should encourage open access model to engender competition and drive down price.

“We should not emphasis much on cost of such infrastructure but on affordability” he said.
He noted that owners of transmission infrastructure in open access should not be operators that compete with service providers using their infrastructure.

“Open access infrastructure will encourage the spring up of virtual network operators as it is in Europe, where they don’t own networks but ride on other people’s network to deliver services to consumers. This will make it easy to get services to many people.
The number of transmission infrastructure owners should not bother us, after all, there are many undersea cable that lands at the shores of Nigeria and we are still facing bandwidth issues today,” he added.

He cited colocation approach in the deployment of base station in telecommunication where tower owners are not operators, which makes it easier for three GSM operators to locate their base stations in a tower.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek investigations revealed that presently transmission infrastructure owners are charging internet service providers and others $100 per Mbps of bandwidth to transmit it from Lagos to Abuja or Port Harcourt, locations as far as Jigawa or Borno cost $250 per Mbps while within Lagos they charge $50 per Mbps.

What this means is that if an operator wants to move 30Mbps of bandwidth from Lagos to Abuja, it will cost the operator $3,000.

Anurag Garg, managing director, Direct On PC, explained that cost of transmission determines cost of internet service by providers in different locations.

One why GSM operators internet service are uniformed, he said GSM operators uses MPLS radio to transmit bandwidth which does not carry much bandwidth compared to fibre optic.

“More so, some GSM operators have metro fiber link to transmit bandwidth around their network across the country,” he added.

Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (AlLTON), has said that Government must go beyond granting of licenses to eliminating those barriers such as bottlenecks in securing ‘right of way’, impediments to smooth network operations- where operators are forced to pay levies that are not legalized, and vandalisation.

Adebayo, explained that broadband services are anchored on availability of bandwidth, and that with excess capacity of it at our shore, investment need to be encouraged to distribute this capacity to various geographical areas of the country for broadband revolution to be experienced as is the case with voice service.



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