Experts Seek Efficient Spectrum Management Ahead of Global 5G Deployment

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Emma Okonji

The Chief Executive Officer of Tetconsult and immediate past Secretary General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO), Shola Taylor, has said effective spectrum management is the panacea to the smooth running of today’s ICT landscape the world over.

Taylor made this assertion at a five-day online technical learning and knowledge upgrade for technocrats who are the custodians of spectrum management across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Pacific and USA.
According to him, “Spectrum is the oxygen of the ICT world today and efficiency is the key for spectrum managers thus they need to be fully skilled to allocate the scarce resource efficiently.”

The virtual spectrum management master class, which was convened by Tetconsult, a consulting firm, had participants across government and the private sector thrashing out variety of issues, which included: Efficient utilization of spectrum for mobile, broadcast, military, space science; Research for civilian applications; Optimization of communications satellites; Challenges in implementing digital switch over; Recognition of C band investments and spectrum options for 5G; Agenda items for WRC-23, among others.

The master class also focused on the fundamentals of spectrum management, ITU Radio Regulations and the potential revenue for governments.

Spectrum management is a big issue because of its dynamic nature therefore, its sharing and usage the world over must be regulated or-controlled to maintain technical sanity hence, the coordination roles of
both the regional bodies such as: African Telecommunications Union (ATU), Conference of European Postal and Telecoms (CEPT), Asian Pacific Telecommunity (APT) as well as other international

organisations such as IMSO and ITSO cannot be overemphasised, he said.
Taylor, who was the lead facilitator and also the former chairman, ITU Radio Regulation Board, said it had become pertinent to have such a knowledge impact on the sector at a time like this when 5G spectrum
licensing is around the corner.

“Auctions have increasingly become the most transparent method of awarding spectrum licences with benefits to consumers, governments, regulators and society at large,” Taylor further said.

Participants rated the master class excellent citing how it helps with their day-to- day assignments.
Deputy Director, ICT at PURA, Gambia, Rodine Renner, said the training was about “the spectrum manager’s one-stop-shop-training program.” Spectrum Manager at TRB Lebanon, Mohammad Ayoub, said: “The topics addressed by the program are fundamental to frequency management and are presented in a detailed, smooth and enjoyable manner.”

An engineer at the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in Nigeria, Kaltumi Giwa, said: “The training stairs up in the regulator/ spectrum manager the desire to efficiently manage RF spectrum, awakening the need to take the dynamic technological landscape into consideration.”

Industry speakers at the event include MTN Group South Africa, European Broadcasting Union, Inmarsat UK, International Amateur Radio Union and Liviasoft Technologies, USA. Other resource persons included: Senior Broadcast Spectrum Engineer and Chairman of Digiteam Nigeria, Edward Amana; Director of Tetconsult and a former Commonwealth Coordinator of the World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC), Dr. Edmund Katiti, and Founder/Director of TT-Tel Indonesia and former Director at the BDT at the ITU, Mr. Arnold Djiwatampu.

The master class follows a similar program in Nigeria and since 5G technology is the next phase in telecommunication world over, it also serves as a preparation for the upcoming 5G auction master class slated for November 8th.