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Current focus and key challenges

Although many countries have introduced some competition in non-basic services, competition in basic fixed-line service is rare. Another remaining challenge is to support the establishment of an effective regulatory framework. In most countries, the regulatory framework is inadequately developed so that even when competition is permitted, the reality is that there are many barriers to the emergence of new services or to new operators trying to penetrate the market, particularly in the areas of licensing, pricing and interconnection rules. Such unpredictability deters private investment. Lastly the legacy of the past where the Government was simultaneously the owner, operator and regulator of the telecommunications industry, makes the sector particularly sensitive to political influence. Reform of tariffs from historically low levels, which are highly cross-subsidised, to cost-based structures also brings specific social issues.

The Bank's overall strategy is to promote modernisation and expansion by:

  • assisting in the transformation of the incumbent national telecommunications operators into commercially oriented privatised companies. 
  • mobilising private sector financing.
  • maintaining a flexible and innovative approach. The Bank intends to continue to expand its repertoire of financial instruments and to supply innovative solutions to accommodate the increasingly sophisticated needs of both its public and private sector clients. This includes equity warehousing, hedging facilities, guarantees and local currency financing, along with its traditional role as a provider of both hard currency debt and equity financing
  • continuing to benefit from its relationships with commercial lenders, other multilateral and bilateral institutions, telecommunications operators and service providers.

Last updated 26 April 2010