Remember that debate on infrastructure sharing? Well, it hasn’t died down, it’s just not as topical these days in telecoms circles because the operators seem to be wrapped up in a lot of other issues that include defending falling revenues, figuring out ownership structures (it’s just one guy’s problem really) and issues to do with corporate restructuring.
In any case, that doesn’t mean its been forgotten. Fixed operator TelOne, through its Centre of Learning, in conjunction with the industry regulator POTRAZ and the Southern Africa Telecommunications Association (SATA) will on the 9th and 10th of July hold an Infrastructure Sharing Symposium.
This symposium will have Chris Buist as guest speaker. Chris Buist is a Director at Coleago Consulting, a world renowned solutions provider in the telecoms industry.
The event which has been advertised in the local press will be attended by higher level technical, financial and regulatory department managers up to CEO level. It will also cater for management responsible for network sharing policies in the various operators in the SADC and Southern Africa Telecommunication Association (SATA) region.
What’s the cost?
Attendees will have to fork out $950 each for the two day event which I think is rather expensive considering the critical component that infrastructure sharing skills are in the present environment.
We would have preferred a follow-up meeting to the POTRAZ organised December Infrastructure Sharing meeting that would give feedback on developments to date. The last public discussion on the matter was the Econet versus Government debacle where the Ministry of ICT issued ultimatums on compulsory infrastructure sharing rules.
The symposium is intended to raise the overall level of knowledge, address knowledge gaps and understanding in network sharing in participants. It will also present an opportunity to address any challenges that exist in negotiating successful infrastructure arrangements among participating members. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services is expected to give the key note address.
In my opinion, this is a noble initiative but it raises eyebrows for its costs which seem to be pointing towards an exclusivity gentlemen’s-club or tee-off-tourney type of get together.
The involvement of POTRAZ in high figure “education” gatherings will undoubtedly draw some attention in light of the recent dismissal of the board for lavish and irresponsible expenditure.