11 April 2018

South Africa: TVWS Technlogy to Bridge South Africa Digital Divide

Johannesburg — THE publication of the Television White Space (TVWS) regulations by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) will enable affordable broadband through dynamic spectrum access technologies.

This is according to the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA) as it congratulated the regulator on the move.

Kalpak Gude, President of DSA, said TVWS technology provided an alternative but complementary ecosystem to long term evolution (LTE) technologies for bridging the digital divide and inexpensively delivering broadband.

Gude noted the biggest barriers in South Africa, like much of Africa, are accessibility and affordability.

The official said by publishing its regulations on the use of TVWS, ICASA highlighted this technology could play an important part of a national telecommunications infrastructure.

"We look forward to ICASA making its type approval process operational and the TVWS database commercially available, as both are necessary steps for commercial deployments to move forward," Gude said.

TVWS technologies use unused or unassigned spectrum in the ultra high frequency (UHF) and very high frequency (VHF) bands and operate on a secondary basis without causing interference to primary users, such as television broadcasters and broadcast licensees.

ICASA's announcement comes ten months after it co-hosted the DSA Global Summit 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa.

TVWS regulations are being considered in a number of other countries including Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Mozambique and Tanzania.

"We believe South Africa's actions will spur more regulators in the region and around the world to move rapidly," Gude added.

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