Mobile operators should share towers, says Nicta

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MOBILE phone operators should share towers, especially if those facilities were built using public funds, says National Information and Communications Technology (Nicta) chief executive Charles Punaha.
He said it was one of initiatives taken to expand ICT services and that a stocktake was being done on the towers.
Punaha said infrastructure built using the District Service Improvement Programme funds were funded by taxpayers.
“There is a directive from the government for a stocktake to be undertaken and that will come under scrutiny for us to allow for infrastructure sharing. Projects funded under the UAS (Universal Access Scheme) are for communications and should be under shared infrastructure,” he said.
Minister for Communications and Information Technology Sam Basil said the Government wanted the sharing of towers to increase competition.
Punaha said: “ICT infrastructure must reach all parts of our country so our citizens, public and private institutions, including MSMEs and communities, can have access to ICT services.
“ICT operators as commercial entities are rolling out infrastructure and delivering services to areas where they can make money.
“Under the Universal Access Scheme, 59 towers were erected in selected areas of the four regions. I am informed that these towers are maintained and operated by the ICT operator that won the bid.”

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