Some 120 policymakers, regulators, private sector executives and representatives from interest groups stormed the Camerounian capital, Yaounde for the first-ever spectrum management meeting put together by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), reports ITRealms.
The three-day session was attended by representatives from the Global System for Mobile Association (GSMA), International Telecommunication Union and African Telecommunications Union.
Also in attendance were international and regional organisations as well as private-sector participants including AINMT, ATDI, Avanti Communications, Inmarsat, Facebook and MTN.
Over the past three decades, the CTO has run numerous capacity development and training programmes for radio communications engineers and policymakers on spectrum. At one point, the organisation was known mainly for such technical programmes.
CTO’s Secretary-General Shola Taylor in his opening address underscored the importance of spectrum management.
"As mobile and wireless communication technologies continue to improve, and as many more of us access and increasingly also depend on these technologies, spectrum is becoming an evermore important resource," he said.
Taylor also said that at the very least, spectrum's economic value has increased dramatically from what it was only 20 years ago, and today it is no longer a mere natural resource or commodity for many of CTO member countries, it is increasingly also a life-critical and life-changing resource.
“5G data and machine-to-machine wireless networks alone will inevitably increase ICTs contribution to the economy of those countries, but the underlying technologies require more spectrum and international consensus on how it should be allocated, hence our decision to dedicate a whole event to this subject," Mr Taylor said.
During three days, participants discussed a range of issues, including: Planning for 5G: global and regional perspectives; WRC-15’s outcomes and implications for spectrum sharing, Maximising spectrum capacity for broadband development; Spectrum bands, technologies and solutions; Efficient spectrum utilisation for universal access Spectrum planning for the future of broadcasting and spectrum auctions
The event was officially opened by Honourable Minette Libom Li Likeng, Minister of Posts & Telecommunications of Cameroon who also called on regulators to maintain transparency and fairness when assigning spectrum.
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Pix: Secretary-General Shola Taylor and the Honourable Minette Libom Li Likeng, Minister of Posts & Telecommunications of Cameroon