A three-day Capacity and Traffic Southern Africa (CTSA) conference organised by the Southern Africa Telecommunications Association (Sata) and Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL) opened in Lilongwe yesterday.
The conference has attracted telecommunication carriers, operators, service providers, cooperating partners and the industry to discuss regional telecoms capacity, roaming and traffic business.
Speaking when he opened the conference, Minister of Information, Mark Botomani said the indaba is crucial in as it would help address price disparities in regional roaming.
“One prominent issue that the forum addresses is regional roaming and is facilitating the implementation of roaming of Sadc roaming operators. I would be glad to see the initiative dubbed ‘Roam like at Home’ mature for businesses and people of the Sadc region,” Botomani said.
He expressed hope that the indaba will drive regional solutions to strengthen economic and social demands of citizens as well as offer improved coordination of capacity network through enhancement of regional and global communications.
“I am confident that through exchange of views and the sharing experiences and lessons, the forum will come up with recommendations of concrete steps that we collectively can take to building our capacity and reliability of our regional infrastructure connecting to the world,” Botomani said.
CTSA Chairman, Sevelus Nakashole, said the meeting will look at a number of challenges affecting pricing of telecommunication products in the region including the promotion of national players to deal with each in acquiring technologies rather than using foreign multinational companies.
MTL Chief Executive Officer, Harry Gombachika, said it was time Sata remained relevant.
He said the time Sata was formed, telecommunications had a clear meaning: the telephone was an application of technology that allowed people to communicate at a distance by voice and telephone service was provided by the public switched telephone network (PSTN).
“Th ings have changed. Therefore, Sata must not suffer the Country Club syndrome that has plagued similar regional groupings where eyes are dazzled with show, ears deceived by sound while prejudice distort desires, and interests darken understanding.
“It is necessary to scratch where it itches; it is necessary to reach consensus on contemporary cross-border issues that have emerged with Internet and mobile platforms such as suppressing viruses and spam, or defining and enforcing rights to privacy, while ensuring cybersecurity and combating cybercrime,” Gombachika said.
CTSA was established to facilitate regional and global telecommunications capacity and traffic interconnection business among operators and carriers.