TV White Spaces forum in Dakar

Investment

Despite the growth of mobile and fixed broadband access globally, Internet access continues to lag in Africa. TV White Spaces is a powerful enabler for last-mile access--one of the biggest roadblocks to getting more people online.

A two-day interactive event brought together regulators, manufacturers, database developers, investors, academics, and policymakers to discuss recent developments and future potential for TV White Spaces & the dynamic spectrum ecosystem.

The opening remarks and welcome was hosted by Senegal’s Minister of Communication, Telecommunications and Digital Economy, Cheikh Abiboulaye Dieye, followed by Google’s Tidjane Deme, Country Manager and moderated by Google Seydina Diop.

‘The road so far: the state of access in Africa’ was the introductory topic picked by Microsoft, Paul Mitchell, Google, Kai Wulff and moderated by Village Telecom  Steve Song.

Fixed and mobile broadband access is growing, with more business opportunities for infrastructure providers, mobile operators and ISPs, but we still have a long way to go to make ubiquitous Internet access a reality. How can new technologies enable growth? What challenges still exist in expanding broadband? How can policymakers improve access and work together to ensure a scaled ecosystem?

By mapping broadcast spectrum usage, we can visualize the TV White Spaces available in a given geography. This demonstration will show the opportunities for TV White Spaces in the United States, South Africa, and Senegal and extrapolate on potential opportunities elsewhere.This session was presented by two Google execs.

Operators are installing TV White Spaces equipment in trials and commercial deployments. This panel asked: how will TV White Spaces benefit the economy? What business opportunities and use cases exist? How will users utilize TV White Spaces?  The session was moderated by Balancing Act’s CEO Russell Southwood.

The next panel explored whether and why unlicensed access to TV White Spaces is important to Internet users and the public interest community. How does expanding access to TV White Spaces serve the public interest? Are average citizens engaged in spectrum policy issues? Is it important for users to become more involved in spectrum policy issues, and if so, how can we educate users and build enthusiasm in the community? How can civil society organizations play a role in moving dynamic spectrum access policy forward?

Regulators are recognizing the promise of TV White Spaces. Trials in Africa and around the world are demonstrating the potential for the technology to expand broadband to citizens and business opportunities for operators. International markets are opening this technology for commercial use. Regulators and policymakers from across the continent presented the roadmap for TV White Spaces in their countries.

Source: Google