Ericsson, ATU Call for Action on Spectrum

The African Telecommunications Union (ATU) and Ericsson have published a series of recommendations to enable governments and regulators across Africa to accelerate Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and next-generation connectivity.

The recommendations are the first findings of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the ATU and Ericsson aimed at fast-tracking Africa to a knowledge economy.

The ATU is a specialized agency of the African Union aimed at boosting the growth of ICT in Africa. The MoU has a focus on enhancing spectrum development across the continent.

The recommendations include:

Awarding radio spectrum in a timely, predictable and cost-effective fashion to support affordable, high-quality delivery of ICT services and spur smart technology initiatives
Licensing should be technology neutral and allow for service innovation
Countries should enable spectrum sharing by giving licensees the right to share spectrum voluntarily through means such as trading and national roaming agreements
Countries urged to adopt a licensing approach aimed at promoting the right mix of low-, mid- and high-band radio spectrum. This should ensure that all communications service providers (CSPs) have access to spectrum amount and type to support various use cases and enterprise and customer demands

John OMO, ATU Secretary General, commented, “The launch of these recommendations is a joint effort aimed at expediting the roll-out of ICT-driven technologies for the development of digital economies in Africa.”

Fadi Pharaon, President, Ericsson Middle East and Africa, said, “Fostering agility and innovation from next-generation ICT infrastructure is important for Africa’s growth and sustainability. However, to maximize this opportunity, spectrum management strategies highlighted in the recommendations need to be implemented.”

Ericsson and the ATU have pledged to work closely with stakeholders across Africa towards the implementation of the recommendations.

Ericsson currently has 137 commercial 5G agreements and contracts with unique operators, of which 78 are publicly announced 5G deals, including 85 live 5G networks on five continents.