Botswana Telecommunication Authority (BTA) has engaged experts in telecommunication matters to assist in the development of a new telephone numbering policy and to work on the telephone numbering User’s Guide for Botswana.
Speaking at the consultation workshop which discussed the draft report on this issue, the Director of Engineering Services, Tiro Mosinyi, said that BTA had engaged Geoff Morgan and Geoff Knight from Adam Smith International (ASI) Limited, a UK based consulting firm, and their local partners Baatlhodi Molatlhegi and John Hinchcliffe.
He stated that telephone number administration would become core to the proposed liberalized roadmap that was recently announced by the minister.
Mosinyi said that they recognized the fact that depletable resources such as telephone numbers were vital to the successful implementation of the liberalization initiative, and, therefore, needed to be administered prudently and equitably.
“It is therefore important that we get it right the first time,” he stressed.
“A telephone number serves the dual purpose of acting as a unique identifier for the individual subscriber, while at the same time informing the network to route a call destined for that subscriber.”
Their ultimate goal, he said, should be a properly structured numbering framework that did not change too often, but one designed to provide access to new technologies as they emerge.
BTA Chairman of the Board, Dr Mothibi, highlighted that the Telecommunication Act of 1996, required the BTA to ‘establish and maintain a non-discriminatory and efficient numbering system to be applied by all providers and operators of the telecommunication services.”
He said the spirit of the exercise was to ensure that all telecommunication operators and service providers in Botswana had an equitable and fair share of the numbering resources allocated to them.
“This will satisfy the current and future consumer needs for the telecommunication services,” he said.
According to Mosinyi the study should provide draft telephone numbering regulations to be used for the enforcement of the provisions of the Telecommunications Act, taking into consideration the current and the future developments in areas of telephone numbers’ management.
“This is particularly of great importance and relevance to the sector following the August 2006 announcement about further liberalization of the industry by the Minister of Communication, Science and Technology,” said Mosinyi.