Months of testing and running pilot projects in Koforidua using tv white spaces to provide internet service has come to an end and the first commercial internet service network using TV white spaces in Ghana has begun. This makes SpectraLink Wireless the first company outside the United States to operate a commercial Internet service using the TV White Space radio technology.
TV white spaces, are the unused portions of wireless spectrum in the frequency bands generally set aside for television transmissions. Better use of the spectrum is said to lead to cheaper, more ubiquitous and higher-bandwidth wireless broadband connectivity. TV White Space network has the ability to penetrate foliage, hills, and other barriers while covering an area about 10 kilometers in diameter utilizing minimal equipment and infrastructure.
The commercial service builds on the success of the initial TV white spaces pilot launched in May 2014. Spectra Wireless is the first company in Africa to offer a consumer broadband Internet access service leveraging TV white space technology
Spectra Wireless’ new service launched as the “djungle” or “djungleEd” targets African tertiary education. The service has been launched in Koforidua Polytechnic and is packaged to allow students to have their own internet bundles, determine their own usage and purchase an internet-enabled device for anytime, anywhere access and enhanced productivity.
- Affordable ubiquitous Internet access for the entire university population (Purchase high speed internet bundles)
- Productivity applications from Microsoft such as Office 365, hosted email and cloud storage (Use relevant apps, including Microsoft Office 365 and The Microsoft Virtual Academy)
- Affordable devices and attractive zero interest loans for students in partnership with UT Bank (Apply for zero-interest loans in partnership with UT Bank to purchase select, internet-enabled Microsoft, Lenovo, Dell and HP devices)
“High-speed broadband offers students and teachers a way to access learning resources from all over the world, equalizing the divide between developed and developing nations,” says Fernando de Sousa, Microsoft’s Africa Initiatives general manager.
Packages include Learner (1 day unlimited data for 3 GHS), Trainee (1 month X 1/2 X speed unlimited data for 30 GHS) and Professor (1 week X 4 X speed unlimited data for 33.75 GHS). Subscribers can access the network via WiFi, which is deployed across the campus and in their hostels. White Space radios are used to connect to hostels up to five kilometers from the campus, ensuring that all students have equal opportunities in accessing the service.
“We are excited about finally launching this service. Word is spreading fast, and we are already receiving interest from other universities in Ghana, as well as from the Ivory Coast and Nigeria. I personally want to thank our investors, strategic partners and employees who helped make all of this a reality.” – John Sarpong – President & CEO