The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA), the National Communications Authority (NCA), Ghana, and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) have given the opening keynote addresses to kick off the 2017 DSA Global Summit in Cape Town, South Africa. Welcoming everyone to the conference, the keynote speakers summarised how important spectrum issues are today, to help solve the digital divide and make Internet access a reality everywhere.
The DSA Global Summit (May 9-11) is being co-hosted with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), which recently published draft regulations on the use of TV White Space (TVWS) in the country and are open for public consultation until 19 May 2017.
Following the morning keynotes, Kalpak Gude, President of the DSA, presented a session titled ‘Spectrum Sharing Unleashed.’ The session focused on the spectrum requirements for the next generation Internet and the benefits of dynamic spectrum access to help meet those spectrum needs. Gude also discussed how dynamic access technology is ready today to help bring connectivity to everyone, everywhere.
Speaking during the conference, Gude commented: “The demands for greater broadband access continue to grow at a rapid pace. As the world becomes more mobile, the Internet has also become far more dependent on wireless access. As we move to the next generation networks that will support the demands of an always connected society, we must confront the reality that four billion of our fellow citizens on earth lack any real connectivity. They are being left behind as the fortunate few race ahead. Access to spectrum is part of the solution to both problems confronting regulators and society.”
Before the conference broke for lunch, industry leaders from the finance community, government and commercial operators came together on a panel, moderated by Mr. Frank McCosker, General Manager, Affordable Access Microsoft 4Afrika Initiatives, titled ‘Closing the Digital Divide: Addressing financial challenges to facilitate economic growth.’ Participants included representatives from the International Finance Corporation, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Prescient, the Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA), Project Isizwe and Zenzeleni Networks. The panel looked at case studies of how new global connectivity ecosystems based on new spectrum approaches are financed.
“A lack of access to capital in the emerging markets of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean has remained one of the main barriers to commercially sustainable investments in new spectrum-related technologies,” said Rob Henley, Principal, Prescient Capital. “Smart financing approaches are required to push new ecosystems that lower costs and speed of deployment.”
The DSA also hosted its regulator workshop yesterday, which brought together regulators and government officials from Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Asia around the world to discuss spectrum sharing and dynamic spectrum access on an international-wide level.
Two new members are also being welcomed to the DSA this week, including ViaSat, a leading global broadband services and technology company and Brightwave, a telecoms and broadband network and services company. Brightwave has developed an extensive last mile Fibre and WiFi network within the City of Johannesburg to deliver high speed but affordable broadband access to the majority.