The increase of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), radio stations, tv stations etc. is giving goosebumps to the government fearing that the congestion of the available radio spectrum (spectrum) will have systematic problems in ICT. Spectrum relates to the radio frequencies allocated to the mobile industry and other sectors for communication over the airwaves.
Speaking to The Herald at African Telecommunications Preparatory Meeting for the World Radio Communication Conference, Permanent Secretary Sam Kundishora said;
Aircraft needs frequencies, radio, security services, and even MNOs so we need to make sure they have enough for smooth communication
To preempt spectrum congestion, the government is therefore obligated to increase the spectrum. The increase of spectrum would spur the growth of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) industry since many players would enter the industry to utilize the spectrum.
Besides congestion, why should the government need to increase spectrum
By now I think the government has surely realized that the local mobile industry has demonstrated its potential to generate economic value and social benefits. As a result, if sufficient and affordable spectrum is released, the aforementioned benefits could be realized.
Additional spectrum, in coverage, also means MNOs can connect more people and offer faster speeds. This, in turn, has an indirect positive impact on economic development of creating jobs and increasing productivity. The Permanent Secretary went on to say that;
In the event, our allocations increase (increase of spectrum), business scores big because those who operate stations will get money, those who manufacture and supply equipment also get business in a multi-billion dollar industry
It has never been more urgent for the government to increase spectrum considering that that new radio stations are being opened which take up more space of the radio spectrum.
Access to the internet through mobile bridges the ‘digital divide’ between technology haves and have-nots, and mobile services in this band can reach into previously unserved rural areas in a relatively cost-effective way. On additional radio stations, Sam Kundishora stated;
Right now we are opening community radio stations broadcasting in local languages of the communities and they need (more) frequencies