Wireless Communications in Africa

As the connectivity demands of business, industry and individuals ramps up, so must government and regulatory policy evolve. Spectrum demand, end user expectations and the transition to 5G are all presenting a new set of challenges; most of which weren’t even considered a few years ago. Real Wireless provides informed, independent, up-to-date expert knowledge to enable regulators and governments not only make decisions but to do so quickly, fairly and effectively.

Today’s regulatory challenges require a clear understanding of the changing wireless landscape and the ability to make quick decisions. We offer both.

Questions and challenges facing regulators include how to manage spectrum in a way that balances the often conflicting pressures from various sectors that want to use it – from mobile to satellite and fixed wireless to broadcasting; how do you ensure that there is a competitive landscape that can benefit all end users? Taking into account likely system deployment costs, and balancing a specific region’s needs with international spectrum deployment plans is a complex equation.

Regulators – local, regional, national and international – are all required to answer these questions and more. How, and even if, to create the national frameworks for network and spectrum sharing? How to deliver a national digital strategy at a municipal level. How to balance the spectrum needs of the wireless industry and policy issues associated with the development and groth of private networks deployments?

Regulators can’t take years deciding; the slower the decision-making process the more delay will impact the time to market of technologies and the development of infrastructure that could boost economic growth. Understanding how to drive the development of robust and economically sustainable connectivity requires the ability to take into account a number of factors from radio propagation, in-building penetration, to reuse of spectrum and much more – a vast range of issues, requiring both technical knowledge and a global perspective.

Which is what Real Wireless can bring to government and regulatory bodies of all sizes as they work through the immediate wireless needs of their cities, countries or regions and the connectivity needs of the very near future. Our experts offer genuine insights into all technology options involved and all associated concerns – from infrastructure costs to deployment costs, from device availability to spectrum management, from international spectrum harmonisation to international regulatory mechanisms. We have a strong understanding – technical and, of course, regulatory – of spectrum policy and the socio-economic implications of national and regional communications programmes, and have advised regulators and governments worldwide.

Decisions have to be made – and Real Wireless can assist in making those decisions. We can offer the global perspective of experts that have contributed to international radio conferences and chaired high-level committees as well as experts who have planned, costed and rolled out real networks from the early days of cellular to 4G and the dawn of 5G. We know how mechanisms work – both technological and regulatory – and we know how to get results.

At all levels of government there is a continuing need to understand what social and economic benefits wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi and LTE can offer, together with another requirement – to develop an awareness of how and at what cost these benefits can be realised. With 5G on the horizon, and legacy technologies maturing and coming to end of life at different times in different markets these needs are sure to grow.

Wireless strategy is not just a concern for consumers or industry. It matters more than ever to government. Grasping the concepts and implications of capacity management, future license terms, network slicing, the value of spectrum, effective competition and new digital business models is essential to understanding the many new ways in which wireless can help government to address social and economic needs.

Is free Wi-Fi across key public areas of a major city viable? What are the policy implications of extending 4G coverage? How can spectrum allocation meet the essential needs of a nation or region’s emergency and public safety users? How critical a role will local councils play in developing and delivering the densification of digital infrastructure? How should ‘smart cities’ happen? How will major mergers between operators affect future infrastructure and spectrum requirements?

These are questions we have researched; that we continue to research and have been instrumental in answering on behalf of authorities at local, regional, national and international level.

The list of those authorities is a long one, taking in regional UK councils, the UK Spectrum Policy Forum, the Scottish Government, Ofcom, the National Infrastructure Commission, the Austrian Regulator and the European Union among others.

And there will be many more questions as 5G offers both the potential for vastly improved public services and the challenge of making them work. We will continue to act as a key advisor to government and regulators on all these issues.

We will also question – and occasionally disagree with – policymakers. We are proud of our status as an independent, expert voice at a time of conflicting demands on government strategy and resources and believe such expertise has never been more necessary than it is today.

The processes and bespoke tools that Real Wireless has developed aid us in helping regulators, mobile operators, neutral hosts, road & rail operators, local authorities and landowners to understand better what the deployment options are to deliver mobile voice and data services to consumers – whether on a national, regional or local level If you think you could benefit from our support, get in touch.