Telecommunications infrastructure is recognised as the fundamental factor for economicand social development for it is the platform of communication and transaction within andbeyond geographical boundaries. It is a necessity for social benefits, growth, connectionand competition, more in the rural communities in developing countries. Its acquisitionentails great investment, considering the emergence of various technologies and therebymaking the selection a critical task.The research described in this thesis is concerned with a comprehensive examination andanalytical procedures on the selection of technologies, for rural telecommunicationsinfrastructure. A structured systematic approach is deemed necessary to reduce the timeand effort in the decision-making process.A literature review was carried out to explore the knowledge in the areas of Multi-CriteriaDecision-Making (MCDM) approaches, with particular focus on the analytical decisionprocesses. The findings indicate that, the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) / AnalyticNetwork Process (ANP) are powerful decision methods capable of modelling such acomplex problem.Primarily, an AHP model is formulated, however, since the problem at hand involves manyinteractions and dependencies, a more holistic method is required to overcome itsshortcomings by allowing for dependencies and feedback within the structure. Hence, theANP is adopted and its network is established to represent the problem, making way totelecommunications experts to provide their judgements on the elements within thestructure. The data collected are used to estimate the relative influence from which theoverall synthesise is derived, forming a general ANP model for such a ruraltelecommunications selection problem.To provide a more wide-ranging investigation regarding selecting a potential ruraltelecommunications infrastructure, another systematic analysis that utilises a BOCR-based(Benefits, Opportunities, Costs and Risks) ANP was conducted. The obtained resultsindicate that Microwave technology is the most preferred alternative within the context ofthe developing countries. Sensitivity analysis was performed to show robustness of theobtained results. This framework provides the structure and the flexibility required for suchdecisions. It enables decision makers to examine the strengths and weaknesses of theproblem, by comparing several technology options, with respect to appropriate gauge forjudgement. Moreover, using the ANP, the criteria for such a technology selection task wereclearly identified and the problem was structured systematically.A case study was carried out in Libya involving its main telecommunications infrastructureprovider to demonstrate how such rural technology selection decisions can be made withina specific developing country's rural area. Based on the results of this case study that werein agreement with the focus group's expectations, it can be concluded that the applicationof the ANP in the selection of telecommunications technology, is indeed beneficial. Inaddition, it is believed that telecommunications planners could, by the use of datapertaining to another rural area, utilise the developed model to propose appropriatesolutions. If new criteria and/or alternatives emerge to satisfy changing business needs,they can also be included in the ANP model.
|Date of Award||31 Dec 2010|
- The University of Manchester
|Supervisor||Margaret Emsley (Supervisor)|
- Multi Criteria Decision Making
- Rural Telecommunication
- Analytic Network Process