“When the survey would have been completed, NATCOM and UADF would utilize the data collected to encourage mobile network operators (MNOs) to leverage their services/investments in identified areas with limited or no mobile access,” he stated, adding that the findings would also be used by MNOs in developing their expansion plan.
He said conducting an access gap survey is a prerequisite for effective strategy for the rolling out of Universal Access Service Initiatives.
“Countries like Kenya, Uganda and Ghana, have adopted a similar measure as a first step approach, to solve communication challenges in their un-served and underserved communities,” he noted.
He stated that to foster coordination and collaboration among MNOs, NATCOM has been involved in ensuring that MNOs improve on their inter-connection arrangements, with the aim of softening the problems usually experienced by consumers during utilization of their services.
According to the Director of Consumer and Industry Affairs, this move came as a response to fluctuation in Quality of Service (QOS) during interconnection, and the inability displayed by those concerned to amicably handle the challenges.
He said MNOs are mandated, pursuant to section 47 of the 2006 Telecommunications Act as amended, to ensure inter-operability and accessible amongst networks.
He further disclosed that a delegation, led by the Deputy Director-General of NATCOM, Daniel B Kaitibi, is currently in the Hungarian capital of Budapest to attend this year’s “International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecom World 2019”.
He said the delegation from Sierra Leone will articulate the nation’s domestic ICT challenges, and in the same vein, market Sierra Leone’s investment opportunities especially that which exist in the ICT sector.