New spectrum management system commissioned in Kenya

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has officially commissioned its new spectrum management and monitoring system (SMMS).

The solution, implemented by Rohde & Schwarz, passed the final acceptance test on schedule in February 2016. It includes both mobile and stationary components and will be implemented across the country to regulate the frequency spectrum.

The Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology, Mr Joe Mucheru, said the SMMS was just one of the critical regulatory tools necessary to facilitate efficient planning and utilization of Kenya’s frequency spectrum resource.

He said: “Radio Spectrum is a scarce natural resource that must be managed prudently for the benefit of the citizens. It supports a wide range of services and applications in telecommunications, broadcasting, emergency services, transport, scientific research as well as consumer devices.”

The CA will monitor the HF, VHF and UHF frequency spectra from a total of eleven stationary measuring and direction finding (DF) stations. Rohde & Schwarz also equipped four off‑road vehicles to extend the range of the DF base and fix interferer positions while moving. The system is centrally controlled from Nairobi, and there is an additional regional operations center in Mombasa.

Through effective frequency management, the CA can prevent, detect and ultimately eliminate interference in radiocommunications services. Monitoring the electromagnetic spectrum and locating sources of suspect signals is necessary to ensure undisturbed reception of radio services such as broadcast radio, TV and wireless communications. The R&S UMS300, from the R&S UMS family of universal monitoring systems, accomplishes these tasks quickly and reliably. It is the core of the new Rohde & Schwarz installation in Kenya. The R&S UMS300 is enclosed in a compact, weatherproof housing that can be mounted directly on a mast close to the antennas. This results in high system sensitivity, making it possible to precisely locate even weak signals and expand the detection range. Installation on masts or roof tops also reduces infrastructure requirements. Mounting the hardware at a certain height makes it harder to reach, reducing the risk of damage and theft.

The Communications Authority of Kenya put its first Rohde & Schwarz system into operation in 1986. The system is still operational today. Rohde & Schwarz system solutions fulfill all of the relevant requirements and recommendations of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – the United Nations (UN) agency responsible for regulating the use of the frequency spectrum. Rohde & Schwarz has been globally successful in the field of spectrum monitoring for decades. 

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