Telecommunications development in southern Africa is encouraged by economic opportunity, government-level support (such as the Southern African Development Corporation, or SADC) and market trends (de-monopolisation and market liberalisation). Various markets in the SADC region offer telecommunications operators solid growth potential and the advantages of geographic diversification. Operators entering the new markets will generally do so in the mode of partnerships, alliances or Greenfield operations. However, the context in which they function, independent of the mode of entrance, will tend to be defined by the telecommunications and ICT industry; that is, within an interoperator environment. “Interoperator” is referred to in a broad sense, i.e. enterprise interaction between operators / service providers and across the value chain. The existence of interoperator relationships is thus taken as an assumption. A carefully managed network rollout and technological evolution plan is required together with critical market and business considerations to succeed with expansion into SADC markets. This paper presents a logical methodology for telecoms operators (mobile or fixed) to guide network development and formulate strategy particular to the SADC deployment area. A proposed development framework gives structure and organisation to the various aspects – business requirements, technology choices and market decisions – of a telecoms business in Southern Africa. The total model consists of 4 associated representations which fit logically in an enabling framework. Central to the framework is a technology decision methodology, guiding the technological evolution toward a Next Generation Network (NGN) services core whilst preserving existing investment, smoothing interoperation of elements and legacy technologies and subordinating decisions to business needs. Alignment of services and products to the business plan and that of the customer needs is also addressed through the “considerations and applications” and “customer visibility circle” representations. The regulatory environment, licence stipulations and interconnect agreements are important inputs to the framework. The output is the formulation of a high-level strategy roadmap, and evaluation and feedback methodology. The realisation of a clear, defined roadmap through which telecommunications development in the SADC can be guided provides telecommunications operators with a high-level framework that structures, orders and orientates all necessary elements with long-term goals and business requirements.
Dissertation (MEng (Technology Management))--University of Pretoria, 2006.