White space project boosts Kenya broadband

Michael Carroll
07 Aug 2013

Rollout of a Microsoft white space broadband initiative will boost subscriber numbers in Kenya elevenfold in 2013, research firm IHS predicts.

The firm predicts Microsoft’s entry to the country will increase broadband subscribers to 68,000 by the year-end, compared to 6,000 prior to the white space deployment. IHS states Microsoft is the first to use left over UHF and VHF frequencies in the country, as part of the US firm’s 4Afrika program.

“White space technology can offer a suitable means of rural broadband provision, particularly where traditional technologies such as cable or fiber cannot reach due to challenging terrain, or are not economically viable to implement,” says Lisa Arrowsmith, associate director for connectivity at IHS.

The research firm predicts a slew of rural broadband expansion announcements from countries in Africa and Asia Pacific are in the cards, as governments seek ways to connect all citizens.

Elizabeth Mead, connectivity analyst with the firm, says UHF frequencies freed up by the switch from analog to digital television “offer great propagation characteristics, such as long range and good penetration.”

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