Botswana, Namibia Next in Line for Microsoft White Space Project

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Written by Makula Dunbar

Written by Simnikiwe Mzekandaba| From IT Web Africa

Technology giant Microsoft has earmarked Botswana and Namibia as the next African countries to be part of its television white spaces broadband internet project. Television white spaces technology taps unused portions of spectrum in frequency bands to provide wireless broadband services.

To date, the technology has been rolled out by Microsoft and other partners in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and South Africa.

The technology giant’s primary focus for these projects has been on connecting education and healthcare facilities in these countries.

And Microsoft’s technology policy group director Paul Garnett has told ITWeb Africa that Namibia and Botswana are next on the company’s sights.

“Both locations have the right combination of private and public sector partners, an identified connectivity need, and a regulator willing to give the project partners the needed authorisations to deploy the services,” Garnett told ITWeb Africa.

Opportunities to connect the developing world to the internet via white spaces are promising, according to Microsoft.

The number of people connected to the internet globally is 2.7 billion, which means more than 4 billion are not connected yet, said Garnett.
And TV white spaces potentially have the capability to connect people in more remote parts of the globe, Garnett explained to ITWeb Africa.

“One of the exciting things about TV white spaces is that you are taking wireless technologies that so far have been primarily focused on short range communication and blowing it up. So basically you’re are going from maybe 100 metres of range to 10 kilometres of range,” Garnett explained.

Read more at IT Web Africa