IT Ministry Finalizes Draft of Telecom Infrastructure Sharing Framework

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) has finalized the draft of the first-ever Telecom Infrastructure Sharing Framework.

The draft has been uploaded to the MoITT website and is open for feedback from stockholders. After 15 days of feedback (if any), the draft will be sent to the federal cabinet for approval with necessary changes.

Telecom infrastructure sharing is a broad range term that generally refers to sharing of telecom network components and associated non-electronic and physical infrastructure.

The infrastructure-sharing concept promotes resource optimization by better utilization of assets, avoiding duplication of network infrastructure, saving time & costs, and accelerating service rollouts.

Telecom network deployment involves heavy CAPEX and OPEX liabilities for operators and is considered a major deterrent for network expansions. Furthermore, delays in rolling out new network infrastructure, which is attributed to procuring Right of Ways (RoW), Operational cost, maintenance cost & Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) are the challenges to licensed operators that shall be addressed.

According to Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Amin-Ul-Haque, infrastructure sharing enables operators to focus on the competition in the service layer regardless of the extent of the sharing. It shall also facilitate domestic & Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

The minister said that the operators can share whole or strategically passive elements of their network to share infrastructure costs while providing acceptable performance. Furthermore, these savings can facilitate mobile operators’ migration to next-generation technologies.