Botswana watchdog tells operators to share infrastructure

Telecoms

The Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA) has issued a notice to operators to develop infrastructure-sharing plans, following the drawing up of passive infrastructure sharing guidelines. The three-month notice is in line with the BTA's strategic intent of promoting rapid deployment of efficient infrastructures and better service provision.

CEO Thari Pheko said the development encourages and promotes the sharing of rights of way, antennae, poles, ducts, trenches and space in equipment shelters and buildings. He said the guidelines will promote fair competition by granting equal access to the installations and facilities of operators on mutually agreed terms.

Telecommunications operators in the country are urged to cooperate and embrace infrastructure sharing as means of improving network quality, particularly in congested areas, he added. Pheko said infrastructure sharing will improve rollout in underserved areas, protect the environment by reducing the proliferation of infrastructure and facilities installations, and avoid duplication of network deployment to save cost and reducing customer tariffs.

Pheko said the BTA is committed to continuously monitoring the market in order to prevent the possibility of anti-competitive practice that may occur with infrastructure sharing.