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WhiteSpace Alliance encouraged by ICASA draft regulation
17 May 2017, This Week's Editor's Pick, News, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless

The WhiteSpace Alliance (WSA), a global industry organisation enabling sharing of underutilised spectrum, announced the appointment of Charles Oshunremi as executive advisor for Africa.

Charles Oshunremi.
Charles Oshunremi.

In this position, he will develop and coordinate WSA’s activities in Africa, providing focused support for a broad range of business development activities, regulatory initiatives and field trials.

“We are seeing increasing regional interest from commercial entities and government organisations in using TV white space solutions to deliver a variety of broadband services,” said Dr. Apurva N. Mody, chairman of WSA. “Dedicating an experienced, senior-level resource will help WSA deliver proactive, reliable support for those activities.”

WhiteSpace Alliance, developer of Wi-FAR and WSAConnect interoperability specifications, has a following of more than 200 major commercial, academic, government and regulatory organisations around the world. WSA member organisations benefit from access to technical specifications that decrease development costs; expanded access to global markets, regulators and government agencies; and ongoing marketing support at no additional cost. Consumers benefit from a multi-vendor, interoperable ecosystem that brings down the overall cost of broadband access.

Oshunremi, who has a Master’s degree from Syracuse University in New York, has been developing and managing emerging markets technology portfolios for over 25 years, advising technology companies, governments and ventures with interest in Africa and Middle East markets. At Qualcomm, he served as corporate vice president – Africa & Middle East, where he was an early stage executive responsible for global evangelisation and commercialisation of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology, a significant component of today’s wireless technology. In this role, he was also actively involved in the CDMA Development Group, the global industry body serving the CDMA wireless community. Prior to Qualcomm, he was business manager – Africa & Middle East, Motorola Wireless Infrastructure Group.

“There has been keen interest in using TV white space technology to deliver broadband services in Africa,” said Oshunremi. “Pilot programs have been deployed in several nations, including Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. In addition, the communications regulatory body of South Africa recently released its draft regulations on the use of television white spaces, including the use of TV band spectrum to provide broadband access. We expect final regulations to be released later this year, creating additional momentum for TV white space deployments.”

White space solutions are well suited to delivering broadband services to underserved populations in rural and remote areas. The technology uses available TV band spectrum to deliver fixed wireless broadband services at distances up to 30 km. The powerful propagation characteristics of TV band broadcast signals make them ideal for providing middle- and last-mile connectivity where wired infrastructure is not cost effective to deploy, and vegetation makes traditional line-of-sight wireless solutions unreliable. TV white space can support a range of current and emerging infrastructure applications, from commercial enterprises to education and government services.

For more information contact Bill Mello, WhiteSpace Alliance, bill.mello@whitespacealliance.org


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