Telecom Policy

Africa Telecoms Infrastructure in 2016

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Annual Review

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

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.

A Look at Spectrum in Four African Countries

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Africa and Spectrum 2.0

Does effective spectrum management make a real difference when it comes to more pervasive and affordable access to communication?

Spectrum and the Paradox of the ITU

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Africa and Spectrum 2.0

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is a paradox.  It is simultaneously an enabler and an obstacle to progress when it comes to radio spectrum.

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