Ericsson, African Telecom union set to expand Africa’s ICT space

Ericsson, African Telecom union set to expand Africa’s ICT space
Ericsson

Multinational Telecommunications Company, Ericsson, and African Telecommunications Union (ATU) have launched the first set of ATU spectrum recommendations.

The recommendations focus on transforming Africa into a knowledge economy through the development of technologies that boosted connectivity and innovation.

The spectrum recommendations were as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Ericsson and ATU to help fast track the roll out of technology across the continent.

Speaking during the launch, the ATU Secretary General, Mr John Omo, said that the recommendations were a joint effort aimed at expediting the rollout of ICT-driven technologies for the development of digital economies in Africa.

Ericsson, in a statement on Thursday, stated that the recommendations came at a time when Africa was looking to harness ICT-driven innovation, with a rapid rise in usage of technology and smartphone.

“In Africa today, a limited amount of spectrum is allocated to the mobile industry as well as other sectors of communication to facilitate the transmission of wireless signals.

“The launched spectrum recommendations outline the importance of awarding the radio spectrum in countries across Africa in a timely, predictable and cost-effective fashion.

“This is so to support affordable, high-quality delivery of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services and spur smart technology initiatives,” it said.

It said the recommendations also established the idea that licencing should be technology-neutral and allow for service innovations.

“The new spectrum recommendations further encourage African countries to enable spectrum sharing by giving licencees the right to share their spectrum voluntarily through various means such as trading and national roaming agreements,” it said.

President of Ericsson, Middle East Africa Fadi Pharaon said: “Fostering agility and innovation from next generation ICT infrastructure is important for Africa’s growth and sustainability.”

He reiterated the importance of spectrum management strategies highlighted in the recommendations that they could be considered as opportunities to accelerate Africa’s digitisation and set Africa in motion.

“Following the launch of the recommendations, ATU will work with countries and all stakeholders across the continent to support the implementation process.

“The aim is for African countries to release the recommended spectrum and licence it to the national telecommunications operators in a cost-effective manner.

“This will enable the Customer Service Providers (CSPs) to serve the demands of increasing communication needs and prepare them to deliver new technologies such as 5G, which looks to revolutionise industries, enterprises and consumers alike,” it said.

The harmonised and globally aligned frameworks as envisaged by ATU and Ericsson will assist African countries in spectrum management activities that will accelerate the cost-efficient rollout of ICT.

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