Tanzania: TCRA goes for infrastructure sharing and spectrum auctions

Telecoms

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania is planning to introduce a system that would require telecommunication companies to share infrastructure in a bid to promote quality, reliability and reduce cost on consumers.

The Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) announced that the new system will come into force in 2016 after thorough consultations with all major players.

According to TCRA, the move is also aimed at enhancing digital coverage in underserviced areas owing to the huge cost of infrastructural establishment.

The new system will also eliminate unnecessary competition, for example, among mobile phone service providers who currently have to put up their own infrastructure across the country.

This has been blamed on the duplicity of communication masts of each of the companies in the same areas, a factor that contributes to high cost of service delivery, and in the end the high pricing of phone calls.

The regulator yesterday begun a series of induction workshops with major mobile companies in a seminar held in Dar es Salaam.

Speaking at a two-day workshop on Spectrum Auction, the TCRA director general, Prof John Nkoma, said that the adoption of the new system is inevitable due to the increase demand in the communication sector especially the use of Internet.

He said that earlier, when communication was moving from analogue to digital, awarding of the spectrum was done at a personal level on particular companies because the demand could be accommodated.

“We didn’t have to auction earlier, for example when moving to 3G, the companies that needed the bandwidth were only three or four, and it was possible to accommodate all of them, but now the demand is so high, companies have multiplied due to the growth of consumer demand that you are not sure who to give and who not to give, that is why we have to adopt the auction system so that the companies can compete,” said Prof Nkoma, adding:

“We believe that this system will increase transparency and fairness.”
Source: The Citizen 27 May 2015