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Futureproofing digital infrastructure

Futureproofing digital infrastructure

13 Jun 2021

The evolution of the telecommunication sector has accelerated with the simultaneous birth of 5G technologies and the Covid-19 pandemic. The presence of these two events have called for a more unconventional approach to the telecommunication industry to correspond to the events that has created a dire need for high inclusivity and fast speed of mobile broadband connectivity.

The increasing importance and demand for mobile broadband connectivity has open a new horizon of opportunities to telecommunications infrastructure companies (towercos) to help mobile network operators (MNO) to provide wider coverage and better quality of service (QoS) to mobile users, and at the same time help governments to achieve their digitalisation national aspiration. To realise the new role of towercos to accelerate mobile broadband connectivity, there are two critical factors that need to take place as an action call for towercos.

Firstly, the towercos need to be internally prepared to serve their customers (MNOs). This includes but not limited to, diversifying their products and services offered i.e. go beyond its core and traditional services of passive towers and infrastructures, upskilling and reskilling its employees to offer the new range of product and services such as fibre that requires specialised skills.

Secondly, the towerco model only existed circa 2009/2010, where many countries still do not have a regulatory framework that addresses the towerco existence and role. This creates uncertainty and makes regulatory and business decisions for towercos more challenging. As a result, towercos products and services are limited to traditional telecommunication towers (rooftop and ground based towers). Furthermore, the transition to 5G network and demand for wider and better coverage and QoS induced the proliferation of 4G network has made towercos role more crucial than ever, making it even pressed for a regulatory framework review/reform.

In essence, the onus to enable rapid 4G/5G evolution is on the towercos to play an active and aggressive role to be internally prepared and externally advocate to the policymakers and the regulators to ensure the regulation enables the evolution to occur though towercos new strategic role to MNOs. In the absence of such towerco role, the evolution will still happen but at an materially slower pace.

This article was extracted from Edotco group’s whitepaper “Future proofing the digital infrastructure business: A regulatory perspective.”

Source: The Sun Daily