Series: Africa and Spectrum 2.0

This is a series of articles produced with the support of Research ICT Africa on the emerging issues around electromagnetic spectrum polices and technologies in the rapidly evolving access environment in Africa.

Why Can’t Anyone Agree on Spectrum?

Electromagnetic spectrum is the crude oil of last-mile connectivity, especially in Africa where more traditional kinds of last-mile communication infrastructure are not especially well-developed. As in the oil business, anyone who has gained control of spectrum in the last ten...

/ 1 August 2013

Spectrum — To License or Not To License

In part one of this series on Spectrum 2.0, I highlighted just how complex radio spectrum management is and why experts can’t seem to agree on whether we are running out of spectrum or entering an age of abundance.  ...

/ 25 October 2013

Spectrum Auctions for Beginners

In the previous article, I looked at the merits of licensed vs. unlicensed spectrum and suggested that there might be scope for some new approaches. Here we’re going to deal with licensed spectrum and the process of auctioning spectrum which...

/ 3 December 2013

Africa’s LTE Future

If you follow communication infrastructure in Africa, you would be forgiven if you have begun to think of LTE as the promised land.  There is no doubt that nobile networks have transformed access on the continent.  Now, we are apparently...

/ 17 January 2014

Spectrum and the Paradox of the ITU

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is a paradox.  It is simultaneously an enabler and an obstacle to progress when it comes to radio spectrum. Formed in the late 19th century, one of the ITU’s key roles over time has been...

/ 20 March 2014