Spectrum access and management innovation

The focus of the CSIR’s work in spectrum access and management innovation is on dynamic spectrum resource management and access, particularly developing the know-how and technologies that enable efficient utilisation and management of radio frequency spectrum. This enables dynamic and smart usage of finite radio resources, thereby lowering the cost of information and communications infrastructure deployment, including the lowering of the cost for new entrant network providers in the telecommunications sector.

Key objectives

  • To develop solutions that draw on emerging and transformative technologies in wireless broadband connectivity, as well as technology products and processes to support existing and new private and public enterprises that will create new and competitive products and services.
  • To develop solutions to localise key parts of the wireless connectivity ecosystem as import replacements.
  • To support the development of the regulatory capacity of the state to effectively develop enabling policies and regulations that are aimed at removing the barriers for the adoption of merging and transformative technologies in the South African market.

Value proposition

The CSIR relies on the expertise of its highly qualified and experienced experts to produce and transfer relevant intellectual property and technology solutions to support South Africa’s industrialisation in the wireless communications sector. The CSIR collaborates with standardisation organisations, regulatory agencies and policy-makers to make meaningful contributions towards standardisation, regulation and policy formulation within and beyond South Africa.


Dynamic spectrum management suite of products (mainly on the television spectrum band):

  • Reference and secondary geo-location spectrum databases (GLSD); and
  • Radio network planning tools to support the deployment of television white spaces (TVWS) networks.

Technology know-how and research, development and innovation capabilities in:

  • Radio access network solutions;
  • Wireless communications network technologies;
  • Cognitive radio and software-defined radios;
  • Smart antenna technologies;
  • Mesh networking;
  • Advanced software development (such as Java, Phython);
  • Embedded software engineering; and
  • Wireless network auditing (such as wi-fi, TVWS).
  • Drafting of regulations, standards, policy and legislation in the telecommunication sector.
  • Human capacity development in the areas of wireless communications technologies.


  • Patented GLSD technology to support the deployment of TVWS from the regulatory and operator perspective.
  • Software-defined, radio-based open radio access network testbed.
  • Nationwide spectrum monitoring testbed.
  • Low-cost spectrum monitoring system.
Dr Moshe Masonta