TCRA: Additional spectrum frequencies to spur economic growth

DAR ES SALAAM: TANZANIA’S participation in the Spectrum Allocation Conference, which was concluded late last year, has yielded significant advantages, specifically in the country’s implementation of satellite technology and the efficient utilisation of spectrum frequencies.

This was revealed in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Director General Dr Jabiri Bakari.

He said that Tanzania successfully engaged in the International Telecommunications Union (ITU)-coordinated World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-23) held in Dubai, UAE, recently, adding that the conference provided the country with a unique opportunity and space slot that will enable Tanzania to deploy its own Broadcasting Satellite into space.

“The outcomes of this conference include Tanzania acquiring additional spectrum frequencies that will facilitate high-speed internet services (5G), crucial for stimulating digital economy growth.

This is due to the pivotal role of the communication sector as an enabler, enhancing efficiency in other sectors such as finance, tourism, agriculture, health, education, broadcasting, infrastructure, transportation, and many more,” he emphasized.

He further highlighted that the newly acquired frequencies would be utilised to improve safety of both aerial and maritime communications.

Additionally, the conference facilitated Tanzania’s acquisition of a new orbital slot (160 W) for Broadcasting Satellite Services, a significant catalyst for advancing the broadcasting sector in alignment with technological advancements, particularly in satellite technology in the country.

Dr Bakari emphasised that, obtaining a new satellite orbit is a major driver in promoting the broadcasting sector to keep pace with technological changes and enhance the scope of coverage of broadcasting services in the country.

TCRA also emphasized that it is still collaborating with stakeholders interested in launching and running satellites under the Tanzanian name, to ensure the provided space slot is well utilised for the good of sector growth.

The DG said this involves filing their satellite network registration with ITU and completing all other requirements for satellite service companies planning to launch satellites under Tanzanian name.

Speaking on the sidelines of last year’s WRC-23 conference, Dr Bakari noted that it has been highly beneficial, as it approved the use of latest technology that allows specialised communication equipment to be placed in orbit, operating between 20 to 50 kilometers above sea level.

“This development will empower these devices to carry out functions akin to conventional communication towers, extending communication and high-speed internet services, especially to rural areas with limited connectivity, thereby augmenting the penetration of communication services to unreached areas,” he observed.

Commenting on this technological development, technology and broadcasting stakeholders, including Zanzibar’s ICT expert Daudi Mkwera, acknowledged Tanzania’s progress in securing broadcasting satellite space and the expansion of frequencies to support the deployment of 5G communication.

“I personally view the efforts of this Authority and other stakeholders, including the ministry, in promoting technological growth in our country and ensuring that we do not lag behind. Indeed, congratulations to TCRA, and it’s crucial for us stakeholders to witness the implementation of these initiatives,” emphasized Mkwera.

Dr. Tibaijuka from St. Augustine University of Tanzania, who teaches Mass Communication, asserted that the acquisition of broadcasting satellite space will be a game-changer.

“We anticipate that the introduction of this opportunity to deploy a broadcasting satellite into space will facilitate the growth of the Broadcasting sector, undoubtedly adding more value to this crucial industry for the development of our country,” he commended.

TCRA revealed that the process of proposing spectrum frequency allocation recommendations presented at the main conference began in 2020 through a National Preparatory Committee (NPC).

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