Sub-Saharan African Countries Club Together To Speed Up Mobile Rollouts, Smooth Spectrum Use

Adam Oxford | ZDNet | September 13, 2013

Summary: A new cross-border group will meet regularly to discuss spectrum allocation, digital inclusion and increasing the pace of high-speed mobile network deployments.

A group of countries from sub-Saharan Africa has agreed to a set of common priorities for spectrum allocation, digital inclusion, telecoms policy, and egovernment in a bid to harmonise the development of online services across borders and increase the speed of rolling out higher-speed mobile networks.

Government representatives from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia met in Kasane, Botswana, to agree on a set of principles for accelerating the spread of internet connectivity, which is said to be worth 3.2 million jobs in the region. The representatives signed a communique, drawn up by mobile industry body the GSMA, which makes provision for a 'joint task force' of mobile operators and legislators to address spectrum allocation and regulation issues, and advise on capacity building and egovernment.