Ericsson and ATU moots knowledge economy for Africa
The newly launched set of African Telecommunications Union (ATU) spectrum recommendations that focus on transforming Africa into a knowledge economy through the development of technologies that boost connectivity and innovation has been set in motion and will soon change the African digital footprint.
These spectrum recommendations are as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Ericsson and ATU to help fast-track the roll out of technology across the continent.
Only a limited amount of Spectrum in Africa today is allocated to the mobile industry as well as other sectors of communication to facilitate the transmission of wireless signals.
This launched spectrum recommendations therefore 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 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.
Speaking during the launch Ceremony, the ATU Secretary General John OMO said, “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 Minister of Posts and Telecommunications of Cameroon, Libom Li Likeng also hailed the initiative as a positive step.
The recommendations come at a time when Africa is looking to harness ICT driven innovation, with arapid rise in usage of technology and smartphones. The November 2020 Ericsson Mobility Reportprojects that by 2026, mobile broadband subscriptions in Sub-Saharan Africa will increase to up to 76 percent.
Fadi Pharaon, President of Ericsson Middle East Africa, said Africa long waited for infrastructure like this and quot;Fostering agility and innovation from next generation ICT infrastructure is important for Africa’s growth and sustainability,” he commented, adding that they can be considered as opportunities to accelerate Africa’s digitalization and set #AfricaInMotion.