Proposed New Measures by The African Telecommunications Union and Ericsson Set to Expand Africa’s ICT Space

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     By; Nahla Maklaed – Saber Mohamed

    African Countries and telecommunications stakeholders  have today launched the first set of 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 Ericssonand 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.

    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 reiterate the importance of spectrum management strategies highlighted in the recommendations saying that they can be considered as opportunities to accelerate Africa’s digitalization and set #AfricaInMotion.

    Speaking during the launch Ceremony, the ATU Secretary General Mr. 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.” Mr. John OMO’s sentiments were also shared by the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications of Cameroon, Mrs. LIBOM LI LIKENG born MENDOMO AWOUMVELE Minette who officiated the launch event where she affirmed that the new measures compliment African countries’ continued growth in mobile broadband

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