|Issue:||Africa and the Middle East 2015|
|Topic:||Presenting broadband in the Jordanian market|
|Author:||His Excellency, Eng. Ghazi Al-Jobor|
H.E. Engineer Ghazi Al-Jobor is the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners/ CEO of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC). Prior to that he hada long experience of more than three decades during which he held many prominent positions, most notably his membership in the Jordanian Senate during the period 2010-2011. Previous to that, he was the Director General of the Special Communication Commission for the period 2006-2010. During his service at the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) he assumed the roles of, the Dean of Prince Feisal Technical Engineering College during 2001-2006, the Director of Electronic Communication & Radar Signal Intelligence & Jamming during 1999-2001, and during the years 1997-1999 he was the Director of the National Spectrum Monitoring project at TRC. Furthermore, H.E Eng. Ghazi managed the TETRA Mobile Communication project, the Jordan Borders Security Electronic System project, and the Electronic Warfare Signal Intelligence Systems Modernization project, in addition to managing other various significant national projects during the period 1980-1997.
H.E. Al-Jobor holds a Master’s degree in Electronic System (Communication & Radar) from Cranfield Institute of Engineering Technology (UK) – 1992. A Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Communication, first class honor, from Salford University (UK) – 1978. And currently preparing for a PhD study in Business Administration at World Islamic Sciences and Education (WISE) University.
We believe in opening the telecommunications market for the entry of innovative, emerged, and converged telecom technologies and services, taking into consideration the requirements of the current and future telecom investors along with the market demands and needs.
The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) considers the Statement of Government Policy 2012 on the Information & Communications Technology & Postal Sectors, the International best practices and developments, in addition to the provisions of the Telecommunications and Postal Services laws as central pillars in performing its duties.
While the TRC has been successful so far in implementing Government Policy 2012, there still remains significant room for improvement. To this end, a comprehensive strategy was adopted by the TRC for the period 2013-2016 to further develop the Jordanian ICT and Postal Sectors.
This Strategy takes into account the growing demands for Broadband Internet Services Nationwide and environmental changes in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for dealing with convergence issues, the considerable development witnessed by the internet broadband technology and the NGN technologies.
In fulfilment to its responsibilities assigned by the Government policy 2012 stated in article 58: ” Government declares that fast, reliable, and affordable Internet access for all users is an important national goal and that Internet penetration, particularly broadband access, should be significantly increased, in all areas of Jordan, particularly in rural areas” and seeking to stimulate the provision of Broadband internet services as stated in Goal 2 of TRC Strategic Plan 2013-2016 , TRC put more focus on:
• Supporting the increasing use of modern technology and maximizing the use of the frequency dividend that would be spared after the completion of the Digital Television Broadcasting Transition.
• Obliging operators to share the infrastructure and facilities and encourage sharing in public service facilities (e.g. electricity providers) at reasonable prices and conditions with the aim of reducing the cost on the provision and expansion of internet services.
• Ensuring accessibility to physical infrastructure network including, for example, the local loop unbundling and all other forms of unbundling and shared access to local loops and sub loops at every appropriate site. This process should include the non-discriminatory accessibility to relevant facilities and services.
• Further ensuring the provision of wholesale broadband services at every appropriate site including the relevant facilities and services on a non-discriminatory basis.
• Promoting investment in the field of internet and increasing competition in terms of speeds, bandwidth and penetration through providing the frequencies needed to deliver advanced and modern services and approve performance standards and indicators for licensees of fixed broadband services, so that those licensees can get tax exemptions to enable them to provide services in all areas of the Kingdom.
• Settling the convenient conditions for a very progressive telecom market initiating a sweeping shift in the provided internet speeds and boasting mobile broadband competition, through the introduction of 3G services in mobile broadband in the year 2011 and then most recently during 2014 and 2015 the introduction of 4G/LTE services – by the three mobile network operators.
• Implementing an advanced radio frequency spectrum management regime that takes into consideration the latest international developments and international best practices.
• Following up with the licensees involved in the sector to implement the regulatory remedies related to the review of fixed broadband telecommunications markets in order to provide the:
Unbundling services of local loop components
Offers for wholesale broadband access services, with a view to:
− Reducing the cost of data transfer over the internet,
− Reducing the resulting time delay and facilitating access to the internet content and promoting its spread, thereby enhancing competition in the sector,
− Reducing the prices of internet services as well as increasing the consumer’s purchasing power.
TRC has been committed towards further increasing the level of internet penetration and promoting the availability of broadband services with convenient prices. This ambition takes into consideration the dramatically increasing growth in internet usage as well as the emerge of new applications requiring higher-speed broadband connections in Jordan.
When looking at the chart below illustrating the advancement of broadband service in the Jordanian market throughout the years 2010-2014, we find the penetration rate have been increasing noticeably due to its relatively recent introduction to the market.
Broadband Penetration Rate (2010 to 2014)
Nowadays, the forecasted need for more speed presumably – especially due to the converged telecom services and applications and to the continuous growth in the internet usage – cannot be satisfied by classical solutions and technologies. This fact urges TRC to support the adoption and investments in alternative technologies, such as the Fibre to the Home (FTTH) as part of FTTX broadband network architecture offering end users with alternative choices and forms a competition to the traditional (copper) networks.
As we realize that FTTX is a key broadband technology that complements existing XDSL technologies, by providing stable high throughputs and will play a very important role in the introduction and implementation of Next Generation Networks (NGN). FTTX is narrowly provided in Jordan by six national operators reaching a total of 8139 subscribers by 2014.
Moreover, and realizing that internet access should be made available using both wired and wireless technologies and using a variety of Internet access devices, particularly those which provide mobile access. , a comprehensive study was undertaken by TRC, which focused on creating a comprehensive approach for migration to Next Generation Networks (NGN) in Jordan and the provision of high speed connection services, aiming to promote and encourage internet access in Jordan through all available means. The study indicated the urgent need for rigorous efforts and cooperation between various entities from both the private and public sectors that own different telecommunications networks and infrastructure throughout the Kingdom. The study outcomes also included a report indicating the status quo as well as the challenges and presented recommendations to encourage the unbundling of local loop components and the competition in the telecommunications market to enhance the spread of broadband internet services.
Broadband technology is an essential tool for keeping up with the latest global trends in the field of ICT, some of which are: cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Machine to Machine (M2M). We are pleased to witness the introduction of such services in the Jordanian market, merging the integrated technological applications with individuals needs for the benefit of the end-users, thus, bringing a better user experience. We believe that such initiatives will change the roadmap of competition between the telecomm operators, and the provision of higher-speed broadband services, ultimately utilizing intensively the broadband-based services and further mobile based applications.
There are various governmental initiatives regarding the expansion of fibre networks, one of which, a National program initiated by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MoICT): “The National Broadband Network Program (NBN program)”. The scope of this program includes universities, school, government and medical entities, aiming to contribute to the development of the educational, social, health and economic system.
TRC will always be committed to its vision to deploy relevant broadband technologies through the operators, to provide effective and efficient services throughout the Kingdom, and TRC will be starting a new market review in order to enhance the efficiency of the regulatory framework, cope up with the new emerged adopted technologies and changes in the markets structures, including those related to broadband.