Factors and forces guiding telecommunication development towards the accruement of social and economic benefits
Ncube, Zenzo Polite
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There is a general consensus that an investment in ICT infrastructure provides benefits to the economy and that countries with a weak infrastructure of fixed telephone lines can leapfrog this difficulty by adopting mobile technology. There is also a large body of literature that supports the notion that telecommunication (telecom) technology and cellular phones are beneficial for economic growth and that good spectrum allocation is beneficial to social welfare and economic growth. The research presented here analyses the relationships between telecommunication penetration, radio frequency planning and other relevant factors. In the process, the idea is to determine critical success factors in order to gain maximum social and economic benefits from these technologies. One of the research objectives is to investigate some of the links between transaction costs, telecommunications and economic welfare indicators. The research describes some empirical analyses based on information given in World Bank reports, ITU reports and others. The empirical analysis entails some regression studies and applications of linear response surface analysis techniques (LRSA). In this process, a database was collected regarding the telecom, social, economic and other factors in each country for a dataset consisting of 160 countries of which 48 are on the African continent. The idea is to analyse international data in order to find correlations and relationships and from these, to create a framework for a decision support system (DSS) for countries in a development process. It is argued that such a DSS can help countries in a development phase to assess their situation and based on that, to structure their telecommunications environment optimally. Possible benefits and uses of such a DSS are illustrated by evaluating specific countries, using benchmarking.