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Etisalat Advocates Standardization at 2013 CTO Forum

By The Citizen

Nigeria's innovative telecommunications company, Etisalat, has posited that great economies of scale can be achieved through standardization in the industry and this can be obtained when there is cooperation across stakeholders. The company's Director of Regulatory and Government Affairs, Mr. Ibrahim Dikko made this assertion at the 11th Annual Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) Forum held at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja last week.

The Forum with the theme, 'Innovation Through Broadband', was organized by the CTO in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology and co-sponsored by Etisalat. The one-week forum served as a hub of communication technology experts from Nigeria, other commonwealth African nations as well as their international counterparts who deliberated on critical issues bordering on the deployment of a broadband strategy and policy for Nigeria.

During the panel discussion which was facilitated by Dikko, it was established that broadband is indeed a game changer, hence its policy should be implemented in every country. Knowledge-share, as an enabler for broadband deployment, was also acknowledged as a key tool to drive the implementation of laws and regulation in each Commonwealth country.

Speaking further, Dikko highlighted the need for partnerships which will drive new laws and regulations regionally that will spur overall development. 'Partnerships within the industry can be more effective if operators place customers at the fore of these discussions and strive to influence regulations or policies that will increase broadband availability and accessibility,' he said. In addition, he said, the CTO along with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) can help the industry by setting the  right kind of standards.

He disclosed that Etisalat has always focused on customer-centricity to endear itself to its subscribers in Nigeria. 'The level of growth we have experienced at Etisalat is traceable to our customer-centric and innovative approach to business,' he said.

Minister for Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson in her speech, said that global internet penetration rates have continued to increase, with almost 40% of the world's population now online. She noted, however, that this number is fewer in developing countries than in more industrialized ones. She expressed the Federal Government's delight to have hosted this year's CTO Forum and Council meeting as one of the priorities of the forum was to assess the different stages of broadband development and discover best practice strategies for moving forward.