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White for green? Looking for solutions for connecting rural areas

CMS Digitalbytes

25 January 2019

In the midst of the frenzy to build the network necessary to quench our thirst for bites, rural areas create unique opportunities for innovative solutions.

The challenge of rural areas and green fields is that the more traditional network build is relatively unattractive. Read the business plan does not stack up. The capital investment required to build will not yield enough revenues.

Yet there is a real need to be met and a political will (most of the time) to make it happen. This, if captured by entrepreneurial spirit, can lead to interesting solutions being developed to meet the population needs and which may prove economically sustainable too. Trials will tell.

Mmwave technological solutions are being tried out but the solution in Lesotho of using untapped TV white space is an interesting solution too. &nbsp;And it is also being tried on our shores in Scotland.</p><p>Another interesting development to follow on the road to the future of telecoms.

"Yet delays to the spectrum sale have encouraged South Africans to turn to other types of technology to fill the void. These include mesh networks, which relay signals using WiFi and unlicensed spectrum bands to offer basic telecoms services in rural areas that are neglected by commercial networks.

White space technology, which relies on underutilised spectrum within television broadcast bands, is also seen as critical to closing the digital divide between rural and urban areas in countries such as South Africa, where millions of people live outside the planned coverage of companies such as MTN and Vodacom."

The content above was originally posted on CMS Digitalbytes - CMS lawyers sharing comment and commentary on all things tech.

Authors

Anne Chitan
Anne Chitan
Partner
London