The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has today unveiled a state-of-the-art Spectrum Management and Monitoring System (SMMS) that will enhance efficiency in the management of radio frequency spectrum.
The new system commissioned by the ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru allows the Authority to seamlessly prevent, detect and ultimately eliminate interference in radio-communications services. It has the capacity to monitor the electromagnetic spectrum and locating sources of suspect signals to facilitate undisturbed reception of radio services such as broadcast radio, TV and wireless communications.
(TOP: ICT CS Joe Mucheru (right) cuts a ribbon to commission a new Spectrum Management and Monitoring System (SMMS) for Communications Authority of Kenya (CA). He is accompanied by the CA chairNgene Gituku (second right) and Director General Francis Wangusi (behind the chairman).
Mucheru said the system would be a critical regulatory tool that will facilitate efficient planning and utilization of the country’s frequency spectrum resource in view of the increasing demand. ‘‘The higher demand between fixed and mobile services and between telecommunications and broadcasting, and the necessity for greater bandwidth mean that access to spectrum is becoming increasingly important,’’ said Mucheru.
The CS added that the exponential growth of spectrum-based technologies and uses of wireless voice and data communications systems has seen the Government enhance access to broadband connectivity to Kenyans.
‘‘As a government, we consider broadband connectivity as an essential instrument for socio-economic development. In most developed countries broadband connectivity is considered a fundamental right for all citizens. It is no longer considered as a luxury but a necessity,’’ added Mucheru.
Even though considerable progress has been made in availing broadband to the people, Mucheru noted that discrepancies exist especially in rural areas making people unable to exploit opportunities presented by innovative technologies.
CA chairman Ngene Gituku said the new system provides online or web-based license application feature which is expected to significantly reduce the cost of entry and doing business in the ICT sector in Kenya.
The Director General Francis Wangusi said CA will now be able to streamline management of spectrum in the country, effectively addressing issues of illegal installations, frequency interferences as well as efficiency in processing of applications for spectrum usage.
‘‘Unscrupulous people are interested in using these scarce resources illegally. This system will ensure our spectrum is clean. It will give us alerts where we have illegal installations so we can respond promptly,’’ said Wangusi.
The system has been supplied and installed by a German company, Rohde & Schwarz. With the new system, frequency spectrum monitoring will now be undertaken from eleven fixed stations complemented with additional four off road vehicles to facilitate mobile surveillance.