South Africa: TV White Space Internet Access Tech Ripe For Commercial Take-Off
ICASA (the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa) has last week issued a notification inviting interested parties to join the qualification process for the operation of the secondary geolocation spectrum database (S-GLSD) - an essential step towards the full commercialisation of the TV White Spaces (TVWS) technology as an enabler of cheaper internet access.
The S-GLSD is an important feature in the technology. It helps prevent signal interference with TV broadcasts and give vital data and information about what spectrum is being used in what part of the country. Currently, the S-GLSD is compiled and managed by the South African Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). According to reporting by Techcentral - an industry news website - the valuable geolocation spectrum database is now being handed back to ICASA.
As a result, ICASA is now seeking to "open the door to other commercial secondary database operators to enter the market, hence why the invitation to apply was issued earlier in the week. It is reported that ICASA's new TVWS regulation is expected to come into full commercial effect from April 01. A senior executive at ICASA said that: "Icasa is committed to providing a sound and certain TVWS regulatory framework to expand broadband Internet services in South Africa and has embarked on a fair and transparent process for the speedy implementation of the TVWS technology and associated services."