â€¦While New Measures by The African Telecommunications Union and Ericsson Set to Expand Africa’s ICT Space move forward
Lesotho has joined 45 other African Countries and telecommunications stakeholders to launch the first set of African Telecommunications Union (ATU) spectrum recommendations that focus on transforming Africa into a knowledge economy, through the development of technologies that boost connectivity and innovation.
The spectrum recommendations are a result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Ericsson and ATU to help fast-track the roll out of technology across the continent.
In Africa today, 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 fashion, so as to 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 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.
Speaking during the launch ceremony, the ATU Secretary General John Omo echoed the importance of the recommendations saying, â€œThe 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.â€
The recommendations come at a time when Africa is looking to harness ICT driven innovation, with a rapid rise in usage of technology and smartphones.
The November 2020 Ericsson Mobility Report projects that by 2026, mobile broadband subscriptions in Sub-Saharan Africa will increase to up to 76 percent.
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 went ahead to stress 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 noted that it would 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.
â€œThis 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.â€
ATU added, â€œThe 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.â€