The telecommunication infrastructure: A model for optimum voice-data coverage
M. Pipattanasomporn and S. Rahman
Utilities Policy, In Press, Available online 24 July 2006.
Since voice and data services can greatly enhance the quality of life of people in rural areas, the expansion of the telecommunication infrastructure is one of the most important planning activities for governments especially in developing nations. This study presents an analytical tool for policy makers to evaluate various alternatives that expand telephone and Internet services to underserved and unserved remote areas. Based on Geographic Information System (GIS) datasets of existing infrastructures, a computer model is developed to generate Telecom-and-Internet access maps of a defined region. The map presents the least-cost plan to provide telephony and Internet services to a given percentage of population in a specified area. A remote area of Bangladesh is selected as a case study. Several scenarios are simulated in order to explore the possibility of extending the reach of telecommunication services to the last-mile customers, and to evaluate pilot projects as building blocks of a nationwide infrastructure.