IT ministry to allow ‘infrastructure sharing’

(Staff Report):-

After holding extensive consultations spread over two years, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT)  finalised the draft for the Infrastructure Sharing Framework (IFS).

The framework aims to allow telecom operators and internet providers to outsource infrastructure to achieve cost efficiency and improved service provision.

A draft of the IFS has been uploaded on the ministry’s website and will remain open to feedback from stakeholders and individuals alike for a period of 15 days. The ministry expects that the sharing of infrastructure will promote resource optimisation, avoid duplication, and save costs as well as time.

The deployment of additional telecom networks is usually a costly affair which involves hefty amounts of capital as well as operational expenditures. This deters operators from expanding their networks into far-flung areas.

The ministry further states that the ability to share infrastructure will empower operators to focus more on their core business: providing improved services. It also hopes that costs saved by the telecom operators will then facilitate the companies to invest in next-generation technologies.

“It shall also facilitate domestic and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI),” the ministry has maintained.

The framework has identified two kinds of infrastructures, active infrastructure sharing (AIS) and passive infrastructure sharing (PIS). AIS involves sharing electronic network components including the Operational Support System (OSS), Business Support System (BSS), fibre and radio networks etc. PIS pertains to sharing of physical sites, buildings, premises, towers, power supplies, batteries, diesel, air-conditioning, etc.

With reduced costs and improved competitiveness, these companies will then be forced to innovate, offer better services and coverage to their customers to ensure satisfaction, said the ministry.