GINA, GUYANA, Friday, December 16, 2016
The National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU) is the regulatory body that is responsible for Spectrum Management and Number Administration.
Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes said in 2017 the NFMU will be in a better position to serve the public and facilitate Government’s and the Private Sector’s Telecoms/Information Communications Technology (ICT) networks and services.
Minister Hughes said that with the liberalisation of the Telecoms/ICT sector, it is expected that more operators will enter the marketplace, thus it will lead to demand for additional spectrum (a band of colours, as seen in a rainbow, produced by separation of the components of light by their different degrees of refraction according to wavelength).
The NFMU has developed a Mobile Broadband Plan that can address the need for additional bands. Minister Hughes said that the spectrum for more backhaul links has also been identified. “The services that the spectrum will facilitate include commercial as well as health, education and other government services,” Minister Hughes explained.
Minister Hughes said that the roadmap for the transition from Analog to Digital Terrestrial Television (TV) has been developed and the NFMU is ready to move forward with the transition, which will result in more spectrum efficiency and vastly improved TV signals.
NFMU’s Girls in ICT activities will continue to raise the awareness of the benefits/opportunities for females in the ICT sector, which will see at least 500 girls being targeted in 2017, Minister Hughes said.
In 2017, the NFMU will receive a new building, new vehicles, monitoring equipment, office furniture among others geared at improving the efficiency and services that the office will provide to all spectrum users.
Minister Hughes added that one of the major objectives of the NFMU is to support and facilitate the Government’s and the Private Sector’s plans at expanding and developing the Telecoms/ICT sector.
Meanwhile, with the new liberalised technological environment, this will expand the role of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
The Public Telecommunications Minister said in the telecommunications area, rates will to be determined by supply and demand in an open competitive market, and the Commission will have oversight to ensure that the rates set are fair and reasonable.
“The role of the Commission is widened to include advising the Minister and the Telecoms Agency when required, on areas such as pricing, fair competition, and competition protection,” Minister Hughes said.
Monitoring and ensuring compliance with licence conditions issued to the telecommunications undertakings, quality of service indicators will be monitored against set standards, while the PUC will establish the reporting requirements and enforce compliance, the Minister said.
Minister Hughes explained that the new Guyana will be a country in which ICT skills “will be the foundation of our education, preparing young people to work in the new areas of employment that the sector produces.”
By: Gabreila Patram