Kenya is among 45 other African Countries and telecommunications stakeholders that have launched the first set of ATU spectrum recommendations. These recommendations will focus on transforming Africa into a knowledge economy, through the development of technologies that boost connectivity and innovation.
The spectrum recommendations are as a result of an MoU signed between Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and African Telecommunications Union (ATU) to help quicken the launch of technology across the continent.
In Africa, a limited amount of Spectrum is allocated to the mobile industry as well as other sectors of communication to facilitate the transmission of wireless signals. The launched spectrum recommendations outline the importance of awarding the radio spectrum in countries across Africa in a timely, predictable and cost-effective manner.
The recommendations, according to the MoU, will support affordable, high-quality delivery of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services and spur smart technology initiatives. The recommendations also establish the idea that licensing should be technology-neutral and allow for service innovations.
The new spectrum recommendations further encourage African countries to enable spectrum sharing by giving licensees the right to share their spectrum voluntarily through various means and agreements. Additionally, African countries through the recommendations, are urged to adopt a licensing approach aimed at promoting the right mix of low, mid and high radio band spectrum to ensure that all communications service providers (CSPs) have access to spectrum amounts and type that allows for the development of a variety of use cases and caters to enterprise and customer demands.
Speaking during the launch Ceremony, the ATU Secretary General Mr. John Omo reiterated the importance of the recommendations saying, “The launch of these recommendations is a joint effort aimed at expediting the rollout of ICT driven technologies for the development of digital economies in Africa.”
The November 2020 Ericsson Mobility Report projects that by 2026, mobile broadband subscriptions in Sub-Saharan Africa will increase to up to 76%.
Fadi Pharaon, President of Ericsson Middle East and Africa said, “Fostering agility and innovation from next generation ICT infrastructure is important for Africa’s growth and sustainability.” He went ahead to reiterate the importance of spectrum management strategies highlighted in the recommendations saying that they can be considered as opportunities to accelerate Africa’s digitalization and set #AfricaInMotion.
Following the launch of the recommendations, ATU will work with countries and all the stakeholders across the continent to support the implementation process. The aim is for African countries to release the recommended spectrum and license it to the national telecommunications operators in a cost-effective manner.
The harmonized and globally aligned frameworks as envisaged by ATU and Ericsson will assist African countries in spectrum management activities that will accelerate the cost-efficient launch of ICT.