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

The draft has been uploaded on the MoITT website and is open for feedback from stakeholders. 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 term that generally refers to sharing of telecom network components and associated non-electronic and physical infrastructure.

The concept of infrastructure sharing promotes resource optimisation through better utilisation of assets, avoiding duplication of infrastructure, saving time and cost, and accelerating service rollouts.

Telecom network deployment involves heavy CAPEX and OPEX liabilities for operators and is considered as a major deterrent for network expansions.

Furthermore, delays in rolling out new network infrastructure, which are attributed to procuring Right of Ways (RoW), operational cost, maintenance cost and Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) are the challenges to licensed operators that shall be addressed.

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 and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Operators can share whole or strategically passive elements of its network to share infrastructure costs while providing acceptable performance. Furthermore, these savings can facilitate mobile operators’ migration to next-generation technologies.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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