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Title: An analytical decision approach to rural telecommunication infrastructure selection
Author: Gasiea, Yousef Ali
ISNI:       0000 0004 2693 897X
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2010
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Telecommunications infrastructure is recognised as the fundamental factor for economic and social development for it is the platform of communication and transaction within and beyond geographical boundaries. It is a necessity for social benefits, growth, connection and competition, more in the rural communities in developing countries. Its acquisition entails great investment, considering the emergence of various technologies and thereby making the selection a critical task. The research described in this thesis is concerned with a comprehensive examination and analytical procedures on the selection of technologies, for rural telecommunications infrastructure. A structured systematic approach is deemed necessary to reduce the time and effort in the decision-making process. A literature review was carried out to explore the knowledge in the areas of Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) approaches, with particular focus on the analytical decision processes. 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 many interactions and dependencies, a more holistic method is required to overcome its shortcomings by allowing for dependencies and feedback within the structure. Hence, the ANP is adopted and its network is established to represent the problem, making way to telecommunications experts to provide their judgements on the elements within the structure. The data collected are used to estimate the relative influence from which the overall synthesise is derived, forming a general ANP model for such a rural telecommunications selection problem. To provide a more wide-ranging investigation regarding selecting a potential rural telecommunications infrastructure, another systematic analysis that utilises a BOCR-based (Benefits, Opportunities, Costs and Risks) ANP was conducted. The obtained results indicate that Microwave technology is the most preferred alternative within the context of the developing countries. Sensitivity analysis was performed to show robustness of the obtained results. This framework provides the structure and the flexibility required for such decisions. It enables decision makers to examine the strengths and weaknesses of the problem, by comparing several technology options, with respect to appropriate gauge for judgement. Moreover, using the ANP, the criteria for such a technology selection task were clearly identified and the problem was structured systematically. A case study was carried out in Libya involving its main telecommunications infrastructure provider to demonstrate how such rural technology selection decisions can be made within a specific developing country's rural area. Based on the results of this case study that were in agreement with the focus group's expectations, it can be concluded that the application of the ANP in the selection of telecommunications technology, is indeed beneficial. In addition, it is believed that telecommunications planners could, by the use of data pertaining to another rural area, utilise the developed model to propose appropriate solutions. If new criteria and/or alternatives emerge to satisfy changing business needs, they can also be included in the ANP model.
Supervisor: Emsley, Margaret Sponsor: Libyan Government
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Rural Telecommunication ; Multi Criteria Decision Making ; Analytic Network Process