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Supporting SMMEs in the fight against COVID-19 using Television White Space Technology

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The CSIR has partnered with the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) to enable local Internet service providers to deploy Television White Space (TVWS) networks, using the CSIR-developed Secondary Geo-Location Spectrum Database (S-GLSD) platform.

Contact Person

Dr Luzango Mfupe

lmfupe@csir.co.za

The CSIR has partnered with the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) to enable local Internet service providers to deploy Television White Space (TVWS) networks, using the CSIR-developed Secondary Geo-Location Spectrum Database (S-GLSD) platform.

The S-GLSD is a CSIR-developed spectrum management tool that enables efficient allocation of usable spectrum, and enables Internet service providers to deploy TVWS broadband networks rapidly on a geo-location basis to underserved communities. The authorisation of TVWS follows a request by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) to the CSIR to make its S-GLSD platform available to licensed operators.

“In line with ICASA’s request, the CSIR has invited interested TVWS network operators approved by ICASA to use its S-GLSD services free of charge. This is in an effort to improve the national broadband Internet capacity and provide relevant and up-to-date information to the public in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Dr Ntsibane Ntlatlapa, CSIR Networked Systems and Applications Manager.

TIA provided the funding necessary to make the geo-location spectrum database technologies freely available to small, medium and micro enterprises interested in providing broadband internet services by deploying TVWS networks. “These kinds of technologies are crucial to ensuring that no one is left behind, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. Morai Solutions, a TIA-funded technology, was also selected by ICASA to deploy TVWS networks in rural communities in South Africa,” says TIA Head of ICT, Rudzani Mulaudzi.

“It is expected that this intervention by the CSIR and TIA will support the provision of life-saving information and enable online learning for populations in previously disadvantaged and rural communities during the COVID-19 pandemic,” adds Ntlatlapa.