CA wins global award for efficient spectrum utilisation policies

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has won a global award for innovation in formulating policies that enhance efficient utilisation of spectrum.

The award by the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA) was announced at a virtual event at the three-day DSA Global Summit, which ended on November 5, 2020.

The award recognizes one policy-maker or regulator who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in adopting and implementing policies making more spectrum available on an opportunistic basis.

The Authority has in the recent years demonstrated a conviction of improving the well-being of Kenya’s citizens by implementing rural connectivity initiatives, using shared spectrum.

Tom Olwero, the CA’s Director for Frequency Spectrum Management, received the award on behalf of the Director General, Mercy Wanjau.

In his acceptance of the award, Olwero said the Authority is committed to improving broadband Internet access by incorporating innovative spectrum access techniques in the spectrum management approach.

In the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, the CA is developing dynamic spectrum access frameworks targeting under-utilised spectrum resources in unserved and underserved areas.

”The first framework covers the use of TV White Spaces while the second framework will cover spectrum use by Community Networks. A third framework is planned to cover a neutral host approach for mobile networks and dynamic spectrum access to improve mobile broadband Internet access in Kenya,’’ said Olwero.

The Authority has regularly been engaging stakeholders, including the academia and industry, supported by the DSA to discus the technical aspects of dynamic spectrum management. The Authority has developed a framework for use of TV whitespace, which is scheduled for final approval this month.

The Authority has partnered with Strathmore University of Kenya and Strathclyde University of the UK to investigate opportunities for various spectrum models in Kenya. TV white space research programmes are supported by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

The Authority has also commenced development of a framework for community networks expected to be concluded in March 2021.

‘‘We will continue exploring these alternative ways of providing services to our people in line with our technology neutral licensing regime which doesn’t shun any technology if it can improve the connectivity of our people,’’ added Olwero.

Last year’s award in this category went to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the USA.

The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA) is a global, cross-industry, not for profit organization advocating for laws, regulations, and economic best practices that will lead to more efficient utilization of spectrum and foster innovation and affordable connectivity for all.

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