Holding our breath for an Open Telecoms Market

Remember, remember the 21st of November..

Good news for SA telecoms: on Friday 31 Oct the High Court denied the Minister of Communications leave to appeal a recent judgement that gave all VANS license holders (ISPs) the right to build network infrastructure.

Now, if the Department of Communications could just get out of the way and do the right thing, South Africa will have a very different telecommunications services market after 21 November 2008.

There has been a lot of good press about this. I’ll just add a few ideas..

Why is it important that VANS get (I)ECNS licenses? Well it would be pretty cool if smaller and more dynamic businesses could build their own networks to serve the telecommunications needs of their communities. The business case for building infrastructure differs with scale. Maybe it makes sense for us to interconnect 10 farms or support a community driven surveillance system.. now we can.

IECNS licenses allow wireless network operators to apply for frequency spectrum. A new licensing model will give a lot more structure and clarity to the outdoor fixed wireless market. We can start thinking about lightly regulated or shared frequency licensing models. We can share and we can make it work.

IECNS licenses allow us to lay fibre. How? Well we simply inform the municipality that we are going to start digging in 30 days. How cool is that! Start thinking about things like community operated Metro Ethernet networks. We can dig up roads now.

Most importantly.. we’ll have to start thinking about telecoms infrastructure in a new way: Yes, we can.

I’m holding my breath. Well, kinda.. Amobia has been thinking this way for a while now.