World radiocommunication conference – 2015: Reflections on Africa international spectrum policy

Mohamed El-Moghazi, Jason Whalley, James Irvine

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    2 Citations (Scopus)


    The WRC-15 was the peak of African participation and contributions in the ITU-R with the first African to chair a WRC. However, there have been different elements within the international radio regulations that did have a restrictive influence on the African international spectrum policy during WRC-15. In particular, the discussion within ITU-R Region 1 highlighted different requirements between the African countries and other countries in Region 1 and also within the African continent per se with some of the African countries’ proposals not progressing. Moreover, a majority of the African countries opposed global IMT identification in the lower UHF band (470–694 MHz) although most of them have limited broadcasting needs. Having said that, the examination of the interaction between the international spectrum management regime and Africa's international spectrum policy has revealed some elements of restriction. Firstly, the a priori planning concept could be considered as a restriction over any change to the spectrum use in the UHF band. Secondly, it seems that harmonisation within Region 1 is mostly interpreted as the harmonisation of Africa with Europe considering that the current ITU-R three regions system does not reflect in practice regional spectrum use. Thirdly, IMT identification is not necessary for Africa, which has already the potential to act alone independently of the other Region 1 countries and not necessarily in alignment with the RR. Fourthly, reaching a unified position is quite difficult for the African continent considering the different interests of the African sub-regional groups with large countries influencing such a position. Overall, our main message is that it is not a condition anymore for the African countries to look at the ITU-R for the way to go.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)631-641
    JournalTelecommunications Policy
    Issue number7-8
    Early online date21 Jul 2017
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


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