TVWS regulation in Africa

Hi Serge,

I took the liberty of changing the title of the post to separate it from other discussions.

I wrote a summary of TVWS in 2018. As you point out, Nigeria and now Uganda have recently announced regulation for TVWS. I think the news from Uganda and Nigeria as well as Mozambique and South Africa can be used as leverage in countries where TVWS regulation has been slow to move forward. When it comes to regulation, especially spectrum regulation, it is much easier to follow the example of others than to invent things from scratch.

I would also encourage reviewing the model regulations on the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA) website which many regulators have used as a basis for creating their own regulations. You could also encourage your regulator to attend their Global Summit which is coming up at the end of June. I’ll be there this year.

Another option you might consider is hosting a national multi-stakeholder workshop on regulation for inclusion which would include the issue of spectrum. We could potentially help you with that. The DSA might also be interested.

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Hi Steve
Thanks for sharing those recommendations and information.
Its interesting to see that for now only English speaking part of the African continent have taken some steps regulatory or technical step toward TVWS despite the fact that all countries are equally exposed to global technical evolution trend and all agree on the principle that its a viable opportunity which worth to be explored .

So my thoughts ( totally subjective) is that maybe French speaking countries have not seen so far enough interest in such evolution that TVWS can bring to Internet access issue.
So what if we think of a slightly different economic model to trigger this interest and ensure TVWS initiative sustainability.
So far as to my knowledge extend, the focus of TVWS initiatives are toward broadband access for rural areas. Obviously this must be the ultimate goal and core of any such initiative.
But TVWS technology capabilities is not limited to Internet access .
Studies have suggested that M2M and inter connectivity for private network are viable use cases where TVWS can be efficient enabler.

In this regards Local/regional administration , Public services , Security applications, eheath, Agritech, ect… for communal authorities and those semi rural or rural cities can fully also benefit from thse available spectrum.
In short why not explore the idea of SmartCity capability for rural/semi rural and promote by the same Brodband for Rural access.
good news is public is already primary user and owner of UHF and VHF Spectrum .

So the vision here is a combined economic model where local public authorities activate TVWS for they own use and spread this TVWS coverage extra miles to reach villages and remote places around to close the digital gap

Any thought to share ?

Apologies Serge, I missed this reply.

With regard to TVWS regulation in Francophone vs Anglophone Africa, there may be a ‘colonial’ factor at play. TVWS was pioneered by the FCC in the US and OFCOM in the UK. European countries (including France) have largely rejected TVWS on the argument that the spectrum was too crowded to accommodate it. For better or worse, there may be some alignment along those grounds.

You’re quite right that in the African region, most TVWS initiatives and advocacy have been related to affordable access in rural areas although I believe Microsoft is now advocating for TVWS to enable ‘smart agriculture’ applications.

Speaking personally, I am a little nervous about extending CN advocacy into the realm of “Smart Cities” when there are so many issues related to personal privacy that challenge the safe deployment of smart city technologies and approaches in the absence of effective policy and regulation to govern them.

Regarding Microsoft , FarmBeats initiative seems to be an very interesting attempt to combine TVWS, ML, IoT and Drones to democratize Data driven agriculture. Thanks to have point it to me
Even if the partnership ecosystem seems to be yet to be simplify and ML/AI platform under maturity process , still, it showing a very GOOD End to End use case of how TVWS can be a real game changer for some so far very complex solution
I intend to follow this…

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