The African Telecommunications Union (ATU), has announced spectrum recommendations that focus on transforming Africa’s ICT economy through the development of technologies that boost connectivity and innovation.
According to a statement, the spectrum recommendations follow a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Ericsson and ATU to help fast-track the roll out of technology across the continent.
As Africa has a limited amount of spectrum allocated, the recommendations outline the importance of the timely awarding of spectrum to support affordable and high-quality delivery of ICT services across Africa.
The recommendations also advocate for technology-neutral licencing that allows service innovations and come at a time when Africa is looking to harness ICT driven innovation, with a rapid rise in usage of technology and smartphones.
John Omo, Secretary General of ATU, 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 new spectrum recommendations further encourage African countries to enable spectrum sharing by giving licencees the right to share their spectrum voluntarily through various means such as trading and national roaming 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.
Also commenting, Fadi Pharaon, President of Ericsson Middle East Africa, said, “Fostering agility and innovation from next generation ICT infrastructure is important for Africa’s growth and sustainability.”
He explained the importance of spectrum management strategies highlighted in the recommendations saying that they can be considered as opportunities to accelerate Africa’s digitalisation 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. This would enable the customer service providers (CSPs) to serve the demands of increasing communication needs and prepare them to deliver new technologies such as 5G, which look to revolutionise industries, enterprise, and consumers alike.
The harmonised and globally aligned frameworks as envisaged by ATU and Ericsson will assist African countries in spectrum management activities that will accelerate the cost-efficient rollout of ICT.