How TVWS is Helping Bridge the Digital Divide in Africa

Africa, Assistive Technology, ICT, News, September 26 2018

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA:  With over 45% of the world still without internet access, on 13 September 2018, the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA) called for the increased utilization of TV Whitespace technology (TVWS) to help bridge the digital divide that is still impacting billions of people across the world.

Speaking on the third day of ITU Telecom World 2018, a global platform for debating and sharing best practice across emerging and developed markets, DSA Treasurer Mark Rotter highlighted the wireless opportunities for Africa and the challenges that lie ahead.

“Digital inclusion is essential for driving economic development and enabling environmentally sustainable growth,” said Rotter. “Progress is being made but there is still a long way to go before the digital divide is closed. The DSA believes that one of the first steps should be utilizing TVWS networks to lower the cost of access.  TVWS technology uses unused or underused broadcast spectrum on a secondary basis to bring broadband connectivity to areas where other technologies are not cost effective.  Changing the economics of rural deployment makes TVWS an economically attractive solution to solve one of the most intractable social issues of our time – how to bring opportunity to rural and economically underprivileged areas.”

The DSA has long been championing TVWS technology to connect those in underserved areas. Earlier this year, the DSA released the publication of its new model rules for TVWS technology, to provide policy makers and regulators with the necessary tools to enable quick and efficient deployment of TVWS networks. The model rules are based upon the regulatory environments already put in place by Ofcom in the UK and the FCC in the US, incorporating findings from the operations of TVWS network.

“Regulators can use the model rules as a customizable out-of-the-box solution, for a faster and more efficient way to enable TVWS networks to be launched in their markets,” continued Rotter. “We believe one of the first steps towards connecting the unconnected in Africa is utilizing TVWS technology which, in turn will increase the amount of available wireless bandwidth and reduce its cost.”

Progression has been made in Mozambique, as the regulator there, INCM, recently announced they are adopting the DSA model rule framework for enabling the deployment of TVWS.

Rotter added: “The DSA model rules can be used to help accelerate new deployments of TVWS all over the world. The framework can be used as a starting point for policy makers in African countries that are similar to Mozambique to enable TVWS technology in months rather than years, whilst still being sensitive to local needs.

“INCM is currently running its own TVWS trial, which includes a geolocation spectrum database. Because INCM adopted the DSA model rules, the trial was able to occur quickly and was more simple to set up.”

For further information about the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance please visit or follow @dynamicspectrum on Twitter. Alternatively join the Alliance on Facebook or LinkedIn.



About the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance

The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance is a global organization advocating for laws and regulations that will lead to more efficient and effective spectrum utilization. The DSA’s membership spans multinationals, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and academic, research, and other organizations from around the world, all working to create innovative solutions that will increase the amount of available spectrum to the benefit of consumers and businesses alike. Visit

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Source: Proactive PR

Re-posted with permission

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