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SD IN NEED OF BILLIONS TO CONSTRUCT HIGH-SPEED NETWORKS

By Hlengiwe Ndlovu | 2018-03-14

AS ICTs have taken centre stage the world over, Swaziland needs billions in investment to build infrastructure capable of sustaining high speed networks.

This was said by Swaziland Communications Commission Chief Executive Officer Mvila Dlamini yesterday in an ICT annual stakeholders forum held at the Royal Villas.

He said such expensive infrastructure can only be achieved through public private partnerships.

“We need the right regulatory conditions for competitive investments. Competition drives investment. It is near impossible to have one without the other. It is essential that we have both.”

Dlamini also noted that competition in the local communication industry had yielded positive results for all to see.

He further reiterated SCCOM’s commitment to ensuring that the cost of communication continues on a downward trajectory like the rest of the world without eroding the sustainability of the industry.

In another matter, he encouraged stakeholders in the ICT sector to collectively address their challenges which he listed as appearing in the form of monopolies, anti-competitive behaviour, entrenched exclusivities, more compliance with enacted regulations and decisions, price wars and many others.

“As a sector, we still have to find ways of dealing with issues that inhibit growth and advancement”. He warned stakeholders against ignoring their collective responsibility of coming together to trash out their challenges.

“Our sector will remain stagnant while the rest of the world advances at a fast pace and the digital divide widens if we as stakeholders of the sector ignore our collective responsibility”.

 Dlamini was alive to the fact that the 5th Industrial Revolution is already here with its emerging technologies such as 5G, internet of things and bypass technologies such as OTTs.

“These require our attention, otherwise we will not be able to be part of this revolution.

“The Commission is aware of the efforts being undertaken to deal with the historic challenges of the sector through legislative instruments,” he said, adding that these are at varying stages of promulgation.

In another matter, he welcomed milestones achieved so far to ensure the promulgation of other critical legislations in the areas of cyber security, data protection, eCommerce, postal, broadcasting and the development of the broadband policy and strategy.

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