Local loop unbundling implementation model in South Africa's information communication and technology sector
Modise, Tumelo Jacob
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The cellular operators (Vodacom, Cell C, MTN and now Virgin Mobile) market has over 39-million mobile phone subscribers and the fixed operator (Telkom) has almost 5 million subscribers . Although the telecommunication sector has been experiencing this significant growth (in terms of numbers), monopolisation of the local loop by Telkom has also resulted in communication prices that are not affordable to the majority of South Africans. The government of South Africa has identified cost of telecommunication services as one of the key initiatives that must be addressed to improve equal levels of access to ICT services in general. Local Loop Unbundling (or LLU for short) has been identified by the South African government as a tool that will minimise control that Telkom has over the copper cable connecting exchanges to customers whilst at the same time driving down the costs of Telecommunication in the country. Although some countries have successfully implemented local loop unbundling, some have not been so successful . This dissertation proposes ICT Systems and processes South Africa needs to have in place to become one of the few success stories. The proposed model was validated against the different models adopted in countries like France, Portugal, United Kingdom and Austria. This dissertation develops a model for implementing local loop unbundling in the South African ICT sector. Local loop unbundling (in short LLU) has been successfully (and unsuccessfully) implemented in a number of countries around the world . The model being proposed recommends best practices to be followed by all stakeholders to ensure successful deployment of local loop unbundling. The research takes a closer look at the South African ICT sector and makes recommendations on processes and systems that are necessary to ensure successful deployment of local loop unbundling in South Africa. The dissertation is written from the view of Telkom (The incumbent Operator), competitors (existing ones and new entrants) and the Regulator (ICASA) and focuses mainly on: * Technical Processes and Challenges that must be addressed * Regulatory Process and Challenges that must be addressed * Economic Challenges that must be addressed * Comparison to international ICT Markets and * Recommendations and Conclusions. The dissertation also covers the development of the Local loop unbundling model charter, Local Loop Management website and processes (Annexure A and B) developed (using HTML) used for the management of the unbundling process.
- Engineering