Ugandan minister Tumwebaze calls for carrier cooperation

Ugandan minister Tumwebaze calls for carrier cooperation

Frank Tumwebaze, Uganda's minister of information technology and communications, has issued a challenge to all African wholesale providers to start sharing more and work harder towards the goal of cheaper access for users.

Speaking at the Capacity Africa conference in Kampala, Uganda, Tumwebaze said that the governments’ main concerns were quality of service and cost of services to the end user.

He explained that the national Ugandan broadband backbone infrastructure, planned by the government and presently in the early stages of rollout, needed a public-private partnership if it was to be completed quickly and on time. He said: “The objective of Government is to make the cost of data affordable to ordinary people. We have to protect the ability of our young people to be able to carry on using their apps.

He admonished the carriers and operators, not just those present, and said: Why are you not sharing your infrastructure amongst yourselves for everyone? At present what is happening is that everyone is doing their own thing. We have to ensure that we make it work.”

Responding to his comments Silvio do Carmo, SADC & East Africa managing director, PCCW Global, in response to Tumwebaze’s comments told Capacty that: “I agree with his comments but in an uncertain time, with many new technological changes pounding us daily, it is about partnerships and creating value for the users. Cost is not the only issue. Quality is as is value-add.”

Steven van der Linde, CSO, Seacom said: “If this was the precursor to more regulation I would get worried – regulation is not the answer – there is real value in partnerships. But collaboration is key.

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