Association calls for wireless frequency transparency

AS BROADBAND around the world changes from a luxury, to a key social and economic enabler, the need for affordable and universal access in SA becomes ever more critical, says , telecommunications fellow at The Shuttleworth Foundation.

Song made this comment while facilitating the formation of the Open Spectrum Alliance (OSA). The new industry body aims to engage policy-makers, regulators, industry and civil society in a dialogue on wireless spectrum, and how the rapidly changing nature of wireless technologies opens up new possibilities for access for all. In particular, the OSA seeks to promote the existing unlicensed use of the 5.8GHz band, but with expanded EIRP (equivalent isotropic radiated power) limits of 200W for point-to-point links and 4W for point-to-multipoint links.

The OSA was formed following a Wireless Application Providers Association general meeting and workshop, during which participants received briefings from Song and ICT lawyer " rel=tag>Dominic Cull, of Ellipsis Regulatory Services, in Stellenbosch, earlier this month.

Song pointed out that spectrum allocation was not efficiently managed and there was still a lot that could be done. He said "white spaces", such as the unused bands between TV channels, could be used to allow smaller operators space to deliver access services without having to pay licence fees.

Tags: Telecoms  Africa