The use of Television White Spaces (TVWS) is globally gaining traction. TVWS technology was in its infancy a decade ago. Many authorised trials conducted by several countries around that time were all successful. Kenya conducted its first TVWS trial in 2013. The trial demonstrated that TVWS could successfully deliver broadband access with no interference to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTV). Mawingu, which was the pilot project on TVWS in Kenya, also exemplified that the technology can help bridge the digital divide. To drive commercial deployments for TVWS, Communications Authority of Kenya (the Kenyan Regulator), has recently drafted regulations on the use of TVWS. Hence, this paper presents an overview of the regulatory framework for Kenya on TVWS. It also compares and analyses the Kenyan TVWS framework with other existing frameworks in Africa. Additionally, it also extends a comparison with the regulatory models of the United States, the United Kingdom and a select set of other countries. The paper further gives recommendations on the adoption and implementation of TVWS regulations for national regulatory authorities (NRAs) in Africa.
Authors: Kennedy Ronoh (Technical University of Kenya), Leonard Mabele (Strathmore University), Dennis Sonoiya (University of Strathclyde),
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