African Countries and telecommunications stakeholders have launched the first set of African Telecommunication 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 as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Ericsson and ATU to help fast-track the rollout of technology across the continent, said a press release from Ericsson, the provider of technology and services to telecom operators.
Only 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 in Africa.
The launched spectrum recommendations outline the importance of awarding the radio spectrum in countries across Africa in a timely, predictable, and cost-effective fashion 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.
According to the release, 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.
ATU Secretary-General 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 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%.