Telecom Policy

An African TV White Space Strategy

TV  White Space (TVWS) technology and regulation has its roots in the United States in the early 2000’s where there was an emerging sense of the growing impact of wireless technologies designed for unlicensed (ISM band) use as well as a recognition that manufacturing costs were coming down substantially.  Low-power use of unused guard bands in the VHF and UHF television frequencies seemed to ho

Open Telecom Data – Moving Forward

Introduction
The value of being connected to a communication network is steadily rising.

Dynamic Spectrum in Africa in 2018

Advocating for change in spectrum regulation is not a game for sprinters.  As someone who has championed dynamic spectrum regulation for a longer than I would ever have imagined, I am still getting used to the idea that what looks like the finish line, may just be the start of a another lap.

Africa Telecoms Infrastructure in 2017

Welcome to the 4th annual review of telecommunications infrastructure development in Africa. This is the first year I have managed to get the Africa Telecoms Infrastructure Review out in a truly timely manner, perhaps that bodes well for my taxes too. The review contains links to 140 news articles on telecom development in Africa in 2017.

Why We Need Universal Basic Internet Now

In 2015, Facebook launched its Free Basics app offering a limited suite of Internet services for free in partnership with mobile network operators (MNOs) around the world.  This provoked widespread deb

Africa Telecoms Infrastructure in 2016

Welcome to the 3rd annual review of telecommunications infrastructure development in Africa.  A bit like my taxes this year, this review is coming a bit late but is still relevant, especially in the context of the previous reviews helping to frame the arc of change of the last three years.  The review contains links to over 120 news articles on telecom development in Africa in 2016.

The Case for Open Data in Telecoms

The landscape of telecommunications is changing.  The mobile revolution is maturing and entering a new phase of slower growth.  The rapid spread of fibre optic networks is increasing the ability of existing operators to deliver broadband but is also opening up possibilities for new players.  The value of being “connected” continues to grow even as the cost of access slowly comes down.

The Failure of Spectrum Auctions in Africa

Spectrum auctions are widely regarded as “best practice” in the assignment of wireless frequencies where demand exceed availability yet, as of 2013  among African countries, only Nigeria had successfully conducted a spectrum auction.

The Internet Is U-Shaped

When we think about the problem of achieving affordable access to the Internet for all, the discussion often focuses on broadband targets.  These targets are moving goalposts as infrastructure improves.  Broadband used to be defined at 256Kbps, now it might be 2Mbps or 5Mbps or something else depending on who you talk to.

Africa Telecoms Infrastructure in 2015

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Annual Review

Welcome to the 2nd annual review of telecommunications infrastructure development in Africa.

Fibre And Other Laws of Infrastructure

Last Sunday, I was fortunate enough to participate as a representative of  NSRC at an event at the United Nations to mark the launch of the US State Department’s new

How To Let GSM Serve The People That Other Networks Can’t Reach

Mobile telephony has transformed access to communication in emerging markets.  In 1994, there were more telephone lines in New York City than in the whole of Africa.  These days, about two thirds of the population in sub-Saharan Africa is covered by a mobile phone signal.  That’s an amazing and profound change yet there are still millions of people who don’t have access to mobile networks.

How to Think About Universal Access

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that any person in possession of a mobile phone must be in want of an Internet connection.  Please allow that mangling of Jane Austen to exist as a placeholder for the assumption that everyone having affordable access to communication infrastructure

Globalising the Net Neutrality Debate

There are many factors that have the enabled the successful scaling of the Internet into a global phenomenon: a consensus-based, voluntary approach to standards;  decentralised design; and, a vast body of openly-licensed software have all contributed.

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