Use of Licensed and Unlicensed 2.4 and 5 GHz Bands in Developing Countries. Rwanda as a case study

Masterarbeit, 2009

75 Seiten



Individual Project Declaration


My Profile


List of figures

List of tables




I.1.1. Spectrum Management
I.1.2. Regulation of 2.4 and 5GHz bands
I.1.3. Telecommunications Policy, market structure and sector reforms
I.1.4. Universal Access or Service

I.2.1 The use of license-exempt bands
I.2.2. Sustainability and Entrepreneurship
I.2.3. Institutions and the developing world context
I.2.4. Relevance for ICT’s Development



II.2.1. Wireless vs. Wired Networks

II.3. Architecture
II.3.1. Segments
II.3.2 Topologies for last mile

II.2.3 Mesh and ad-hoc networks

II.3. Standards and end-user devices
II.3.1 Wireless standards
II.3.2. End-user devices and applications


III.1.1. Survey on the use of unlicensed spectrum

III.2. Focus and scope

III.3. Target respondents

III.4. Survey Format

III.5. Distribution and follow up

III.6. Response rate

III.7. Summary


IV.1 Regulatory regimes and diversity
IV.1.1. Licensing regimes across Africa vs. in Rwanda
IV.1.2 Non standard configurations
IV.1.3 Certification
IV.1.4 Enforcement

IV.2 The use of the 2.4 and 5GHz bands
IV.2.1 Experiences of use and users
IV.2.2 Localized coverage vs Backhaul connectivity in rural areas

IV.3 Difficulties in use and regulation
IV.3.1 Licensing versus associated restrictions
IV.3.2 Interference
IV.3.4 Price and availability of equipment


V. 2. Recommendations




I am most grateful to the Supreme Being by whom this work has been made possible. I also acknowledge with gratitude the contributions of the individuals, institutions I am going to refer below. Without their willing support this research could have been very hard to carry out.

- Prof DEREK Godfrey, for his tireless guidance and supervision in the achievement of this work.
- To my parents who worked labouredly since years to bring us up morally and provide financial assistance to get skills and education we are presently reaching.  Particular thanks to the MCM program at KIST, UKTA, ITU and the Rwandan Government for having given us opportunities to get these skills.
- Prof David P. Mellor OBE, Prof Steve Cape well, Prof Derek Godfrey and Mr Jonathan Peter MWAKIJELE and all KIST academicians.


My Profile

Born in Democratic Republic of Congo (ex-Zaire), as a refugee due to political turmoil in my country Rwanda, I am Paulin MUKUNZI, son of Corneille MUTEMBO and Marie N‟BAHIZI.

I studied my Primary education at the “ecole Primaire Virunga Nord” (DRC). Based on the poor environmental conditions of my society by then, I was prompted to study Electronic in order to lay a hand in finding solutions to challenging situations of my society. In order to achieve this, it necessitated me to study Technical subjects most particularly Industrial Electricity in secondary level at “Institut Technique Industriel de Goma” (ITIG). After my secondary school, I worked for Super match this is a Tobacco industrial based in Goma for one year then I decided to pursue my study at Goma Institute of Technology and Applied Electronic in field of Computer and Electronic engineering. When repatriated to my home land Rwanda in 2001, I worked with MEDIAPOST TELE10 GROUP, this was in ISP branch, and it was one of the services offered by TELE10. My ambition was to work with my country, to contribute to the development of the country after the genocide. Since 2003 I have been working for the government of Rwanda.

Due to the fact that my capacity was not good enough compared to the needed man power in information technology in my Country, I was prompted to go for further studies so that my knowledge can be improved for the benefit of Rwandans the globe at large. In order to achieve this, in 2008 I applied for the master program in Communications managements at KIST. Therefore, after successfully achieving this master, I stand firm to be a solution to my country in achieving the above goals on behalf of the government of Rwanda in general and also fulfilling my objectives.

List of figures

Figure 1: Wired vs. Wireless Networks

Figure 2: Different segments in connectivity

Figure 3: Wi-Fi phones:

Figure 4: Responses to the survey

Figure 5:simple categories for the 2.4GHz Band

Figure 6: Simple categories for the 5GHz Band

Figure 7: Rwanda physical network design

List of tables

Table 1: Different wireless standards

Table 2: Standards and equipment operating in the 2.4 and 5GHz bands

Table 3: Number of telecom network operators and their respective number of subscribers


SN Acronyms Meaning

1 ATPC Adaptive Transmission Power Control

2 CEPT European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications

3 dB Decibel

4 DRC Democratic Republic of Congo

5 ETSI European Telecommunications Standards Institute

6 FCC Federal Communications Committee

7 GHz Giga Hertz

8 ICT Information Communication and Technology

9 ITIG Institut Technique Industriel de Goma

10 ISP Internet Service Provider

11 ITU International Telecommunication Union

12 ITU-R International Telecommunication Union-Radio

13 ISM industrial, scientific and medical

KIST Kigali Institute of science and Technology

14 RDB Rwanda development Board

15 RITA Rwanda Information Technology Authority

16 MCM Master of Communications Management

17 MHz Mega Hertz

18 USA United States of America

19 UKTA United Kingdom of Telecommunication Academy

20 WiMax Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access

21 WLAN Wireless Local Area Network


In many countries, Spectrum Management has been under growing attention and debate in the last few years. Traditionally spectrum management has been largely based in a somewhat static approach, with allocations determined by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and national governments and telecommunication regulators responsible for spectrum assignment, monitoring and enforcement. In general, spectrum has been attributed on an exclusive basis, through a licensing regime. Recently several countries shifted towards different models, introducing different approaches such as spectrum pricing or trading, and exploring decentralized structures, such as the use of unlicensed bands. Currently, equipments based on unlicensed wireless technologies (WLAN, WiMax) are widely available commercially, inexpensive, and require little technical expertise for installation. Such equipment can be used to create data networks without investing time and money in acquiring a spectrum license or needing to depend on a telecommunications operator for use of the airwaves.

Since on one hand the unlicensed spectrum and low-cost wireless technologies that operate in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands is of particular value in that, it has the potential to substantially impact accessibility and availability of information and telecommunication services. And on other hand in the context of numerous institutional and structural obstacles that might occur to the entry of license-exempt, regulation provides a friendly environment for entrepreneurship while reducing any kind of barriers to the entry. This project aims to assess the opportunities for the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands in the context of developing countries, with a case study of Rwanda. In order to assess this opportunity in the context of Rwanda, I have surveyed every companies and institutions in the country on use of the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. The progression of this research leads to the following main sections which are described in the following Chapters:

Chapter I: Introduction.

Chapter II: Literature review Chapter III: Methodology

Chapter IV: Analysis of the results. Chapter V: Conclusion



Information and Communication Technology facility is one of the important tools helping to reach a big number of people and let them know about product, services and other information on what is going on in place. Information Technology offers wonderful opportunities for significant improvement in different domains. This section provides a brief description of the related work in some relevant areas to the problem at hand. This description helps set the scene for the analysis that follows. It gives the overview of the way firms operate and the impact in development of Information and Communication Technology. This part of the thesis also explains the motivation of this research by briefly running through the need for sustainability and the role of entrepreneurship and community involvement in developing countries. It also discusses the following background areas:

 Spectrum management and regulation

 Regulation of 2.4 and 5GHz bands

 Telecommunications policy and sector reforms  Universal service issues.

I.1.1. Spectrum Management

This section gives some background in these respect appropriate models for spectrum management that have been the subject of heated debates. The management of spectrum has made significant changes in recent years, the use of license-exempt regulation is an example, it introduced more market based mechanisms and shifting to a more deregulated approach.

Electromagnetic radiation is consisting of self-sustaining oscillating electric and magnetic fields at right angles to each other and to the direction of propagation. It does not require a supporting medium and travels through empty space at the speed of light. Only a portion going from 10 KHz to 3,000GHz has been classified as the radio spectrum of the whole range of frequencies which together constitute the electromagnetic spectrum. The radio spectrum is a natural resource and it is limited. In addition electromagnetic interference is such that if two users transmit in the same place, at the same time, in the same frequency, and with sufficient power, they will interfere with each other.

Governments and international organisations such as the ITU have taken in their hands the responsibility to manage spectrum, in order to ensure its best utilisation given the scarce nature of spectrum, and a growing number of users. Ensuring enough separation and guard bands the spectrum has been divided into different bands, and allocated to different services. The ITU‟s Radio communication Sector (ITU-R) maintains a Table of Frequency Allocations which identifies spectrum bands for about 40 categories of wireless services with the goal of avoiding interference among.

Since coordination is needed at borders and in the bands used for high range communications, spectrum management cannot be performed on only a national basis only, for example satellite communications. In addition, global coordination of spectrum allocation ensures the same bands are used for the same services in different locations, which facilitates economies of scale for equipment. After establishing the broad categories, spectrum for various services within each country can be allocated within its own borders in compliance with ITU‟s Table of Frequency Allocations. To assign spectrum to particular users national regulators are also in charge of it, this through the use of licenses.

Due to the organizational structure of the ITU and the need for coordination and agreement at national, regional, and international level, spectrum allocation at international level is a heavy and bureaucratic process. The ITU which is a specialized branch of the United Nations is the oldest intergovernmental regime in the world and works mostly on a consensus base. Which means decisions are often the possible compromise between different positions, and do not always reflect a consistent set of policies. Despite following the politic of states that retain absolute sovereign control over their telecommunications systems and ultimately have the responsibility to define national regulations, the ITU Radio Regulations have the force of a treaty obligation between countries.

The radio spectrum is a scarce resource that has been historically allocated through command-and-control regulation. Today, it is widely accepted that this type of allocation is as inefficient for spectrum as it would be for paper or land. Many commentators and scholars, most famously Ronald Coase, have advocated that a more efficient allocation would be achieved if government sold the rights to the spectrum and allowed a free market in radio property to develop The fact that very few market mechanisms are embedded in the allocation and assignment process can however explain some of the inefficiencies in the use of spectrum. For example, there are bands allocated for applications that are hardly used. Some mechanisms are already in place around the world, and the tendency is to have an increasingly market-based management. ( ) visited 10th October 2009 Apart from the Radio Regulations the ITU also issues recommendations and reports, technical studies, etc. There may be some societal or military uses for which the states should give sufficient resources, also the system needs to include that explicitly in this case the government paying the fees, in such a way that the incentive structure for efficiency is maintained. In parallel, technology has evolved and enabled more advanced interference management techniques.

With these technologies it is easy to control interference, even if several users at a same place are using the same frequency. Now there are an increasing number of advocates for deregulation of spectrum management and the establishment of license-exempt bands because of these evolutions. On a yet more radical note there is also the Open Spectrum Movement, which advocates that spectrum should be treated as a commons as opposed to the property rights model in place today, which means there is no need for licenses at all. Although the current shortage of radio spectrum is usually attributed to the scarcity of spectrum, it is due to the inefficiency of legacy radio technologies and old systems of spectrum management. Regulatory reforms are being proposed to assign exclusive rights to spectrum, but such “market-oriented” allocation would be harmful because the spectrum is not a property but a protocol by which information is carried. New packet radio technologies enable efficient communications by sharing a wide band without licenses. However, it is difficult to relocate spectrum by persuading incumbents to give back their spectrum. Therefore we propose reverse auctions by which the government buys back spectrum from incumbents as an optional mechanism for spectrum relocation. The equilibrium price of this reverse auction will be much cheaper than that of ordinary spectrum auctions, because the former price will be close to the value of the band that is used least efficiently if the auction is competitive. ( /spu/ni/spectrum/presentations/Paper-Ikeda.doc+although+the+current+ shortage+ of+radio+spectrum+is+usually+attributed+to+the+scarcity+of+spectrum,+it+is+due +to+the+inefficiency+of+legacy+radio+technologies+and+old+systems+of+spectru m+management&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=rw&client=firefox-a ) 12th October 2009

I.1.2. Regulation of 2.4 and 5GHz bands

As mentioned before, this thesis aims on the use and regulation of license-exempt bands, and in particular it concentrates on the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands: In this section we will review the regulation of these bands by the ITU, the US and Europe. The applicable regulation changes from country to country, and is in some instances not clear.To assist with containing interference to radio communications from industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) devices, the ITU Radio Regulations specify various frequency bands as designated internationally for ISM applications. The bands 2.4-2.5 GHz and 5.725-5.875 GHz are two such bands. The Federal Communications Committee (FCC) is the federal government body with responsibility for managing radiofrequency spectrum usage in the USA for non- federal government purposes. The largely USA developed 802.11 standard and its amendments are not specifically referred to in the FCC Rules and Regulations. Analysis shows, however, that device meeting the 802.11 standard fit within the requirements of the FCC Rules and Regulations, specifically Part 15, which provides for the operation of license-exempt devices. As a general condition of operation, Part 15 devices may not cause any harmful interference to authorized services and must accept any interference that may be received.

The European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications (CEPT) administrations make recommendations to the European Union member states regarding spectrum management issues.

CEPT/ERC Recommendation Rec 70-03 describes the spectrum management arrangements for „Short Range Devices‟ relating to allocated frequency bands, maximum power levels, channel spacing and duty cycle. For short range devices, individual licenses for users are not normally required. However, for particular applications individual licenses may be required in some countries. The recommendation points to a number of standards. The body coordinating telecommunications standards for the countries of Europe is the European Telecommunications Standards Institute ETSI. ETSI recommends equipment standards and frequency band arrangements. It is, however, up to individual countries to implement the frequency band licensing arrangements and adopt the standards developed by ETSI as each sees fit. This means that while ETSI material represents a consensus of a European-wide view it does not necessarily represent the arrangements found in individual countries.

( ning_topics/docs/rlan-im.pdf ) 13th October 2009

I.1.3. Telecommunications Policy, market structure and sector reforms

This part has focused more on institutional context in developing countries, and how it can serve as an obstacle and source of difficulties for telecommunications operators, in particular to new entrants. This thesis finds that there is some burden placed on regulation in the particular instances where competition in the market is low. These factors are intimately related to the forces at play in the telecommunications industry and its history in terms of market structure and sector reforms. Historically the Telecommunication Industry has been organized as a monopoly. This has been justified by:

i) Large fixed costs, and the argument that a single enterprise would be able to provide services at lower cost that two or more companies

ii) Network externalities justifying the organization of the telecommunications

sector on a national basis;

iii) The necessity of cross-subsidies to finance telecommunications access in

iv) Strategic or security concerns determining the sector should be reserved to particular enterprise often controlled by the state.

Government control is needed to keep the volume, quality and price of services at a welfare maximizing level, as well as to promote efficiency and innovation. Problems included low efficiency, high prices and regulatory capture (i.e. non- independent regulators), especially in state-owned companies, the government often lacked technical skills and dependence on short term political considerations was detrimental.

Liberalizing the markets and ensuring a level playing field has proven to be a significant challenge in many countries, and existing monopolies or their legacy still represent a significant barrier to entry. Sector reform typically entails significant changes in ownership, cost levels, and prices of multiple services, and is a difficult task.

In fact, the market structure has to be modified to promote and maintain competition, and the incumbent will still control price and quality in segments such as the local loop. It is necessary to severe the links between the incumbent and political and regulatory authorities, ensure a level playing field, and that new entrants can obtain access to incumbent‟s network through interconnection or other. Additionally, regulation may be needed to ensure non discriminatory access to scarce resources such as spectrum. Indeed for example in a licensed environment, incumbents may have significant advantages in the process of obtaining a license.

Reforms are particularly needed in developing world where, traditionally, Telecommunication companies used to serve elites. Some of the monopoly companies in these countries continue to maintain prices high to exploit those elites. Telecommunications‟ revenues from companies are often seen as a source of taxes or revenues to be used in other parts of the government. Fiscal and monetary reforms in developing countries can sometime complicate reform of the Telecommunication sector. Nationalized telecom firms are the source of substantial net cash flows for the government, especially if not properly maintained and expanded.

I.1.4. Universal Access or Service

Universal Access or Service is a term used to refer to the policy of providing telephone service to all community members and is based on the North American concept of a telephone in every home. It is generally recognized that universal service, in terms of a telephone in every home will not be achievable (or desirable from the perspective of a commercial operator) in most emerging market countries. A more realistic goal is Universal Access where a working, affordable telephone is within reach of the whole population of a country. Many telecommunication analysts prefer the term Universal Access over the term Universal Service because it more accurately reflects the provision of a group of lines at locations convenient to rural and remote residents. The objectives of Universal Access policies and programs focus on social and economic development of rural and remote areas. The provision of telephone lines and Internet services is a means to accelerate and support social and economic development. Objectives may also be tied directly to government goals for decentralisation of governance to regional and district levels in order to provide more effective social service delivery and more effective local decision- making. Decentralisation requires that front line service delivery agents and local government officials have access to affordable and effective communication and information sharing tools. Some governments have explicit funds to achieve this objective. Unlicensed bands can potentially be used for provision of rural connectivity and Universal Service. If appropriate policies and are in place, these funding mechanisms can be used for the deployment of this type of technologies. One of the arguments for universal service is that access telecommunications is a basic human right. The moral basis of this claim is that the telephone is now a necessity rather than a luxury and that therefore all should have access to it. A lot has been written about the history, goals and appropriate levels for Universal Service.

( loaddocuments/Executive_Paper.doc+Universal+Service+is+a+concept+that+refer s+to+the+objective+of+providing+telecommunications+access+universally&cd=1&h l=en&ct=clnk&gl=rw&client=firefox-a )15th October 2009

In this section I am mostly interested in the different funding mechanisms utilised, since cost is the biggest obstacle to connectivity. In the presence of monopolies, Universal telecommunications reform positive to offset the short-term cash flow loss from the state owned enterprise.

Monopolies, normally owned by the state, were asked to implement Universal Service as a social service. Once markets open to competition, however, the cross- subsidisation is incompatible with the regime of open competition. In some cases governments have imposed a universal service obligation requiring the incumbent telecommunications operator to provide service to all parts of the country at a uniform price. New entrants without such an obligation have a strong incentive to focus on low-cost, `profitable' customers, in a phenomenon known as „cream- skimming‟ ( Fname =../ pdffiles/ working_99_10.pdf ).15th October 2009 For Universal Service Funds an alternative model implies the separation of the collection and allocation. Collection can be made through general taxation or by placing a levy on all operators, proportional to their turnover. These funds would then be used to provide Universal Service. It would still be the incumbent providing the service in some cases. The incumbent may indeed be placed in a better position to provide the service however this does not necessarily have to be the case. In addition, a significant problem remains of determining the subsidy that should be attributed to provide service. To solve both of these hurdles, in some countries the process has been opened to competition by awarding Universal Service funds through a competitive auction.

Financing of telecommunication project may prove particularly useful and relevant in the context of bottom-up entrepreneurial deployments in the developing world. it is essential to shift the patterns of access to capital to meet the needs of players if they have the potential to be more efficient and effective in the provision of services to rural areas.

Universal access as a concept in telecommunication is the creation of an enabling environment for people to have equal opportunity and access to telecommunication services and products. Universal service on the other hand is normally phrased as a requirement of the telecommunications service provider to meet criteria in the following three areas:

- Availability,

- Accessibility;  Affordability. Source (ITU 1998).


The use of license-exempt bands, the need for sustainability, the role of entrepreneurship, and the institutional context in the developing world, particularly in Rwanda are different areas different areas that motivated this research. The following sections give a detailed explanation of these areas and the relevance of the ultimate goal of enabling ICT access in developing world.

I.2.1 The use of license-exempt bands

This part of the thesis gives some commercial, technical and regulatory issues that are linked to license-exempt regulation. It looks also at different devices that operated in these bands, and its relevance for developing countries. Little information is known to this regulation and the use in this context even though there are some reports of projects using wireless technology operating in these bands. Regulation of spectrum management and licensing procedures came about by necessity. Experience showed that reliable communications were not assured, since interference resulted any time several transmitters operated in near proximity. ( %202_title-42.pdf “Review of radio spectrum management” by professor Martin Cave March 2002). 18th October 2009 License-exempt spectrum can be used in certain technologies and situations like the microwave oven in which emissions are limited in range, or in some other technologies where devices can detect other users, wait before they transmit or use power control. With these technologies, it enable coexistence of several users in the same band in the same place, in the next chapter, we will have more detailed description of these types of technologies.

The authorization for use of unlicensed bands is sometimes accompanied by some limitations in transmitted power and (or) in transmission environment. The reason of this use is because of the number of users in a band, and some degradation of the quality of service associated with shared use. The use of spectrum is potentially optimized by the use of unlicensed spectrum. By not restricting the use spectrum it makes use, in the space dimension, or in the time dimension, of the periods where other transmitters are silent. Unlicensed bands are increasingly popular, and are experiencing unprecedented growth. ( 561d-4d45-9e68-53ad281f921b/Presentation/NewsAttachment/5c26dcaa-4684-4.4c-9095-7b7fca5175c6/559Fitzgerald091605.pdf ) 18th October 2009 These bands have proven to be attractive; having spawned a variety of new applications and commercially, this type of regulation facilitates market-entry. The recent explosion of Wi-Fi hotspots in cyber cafe and private homes is a good illustration of such success.

According to Roger G. Noll in “Telecommunications Reform in Developing Countries”, governments and regulators sometimes favor the incumbent operators and their interests, either explicitly or implicitly. This comes, however, at the cost of lower guarantees for quality of service, and a reduced support for dispute resolution, since in general regulators are not required to control or ensure any quality of service requirements for unlicensed spectrum. (http://aei- /admin /authorpdfs/redirect- safely.php? fname=../ pdffiles/ working_99_10.pdf ) 19th October 2009 Today, millions of unlicensed devices are already in operation in a multitude of important uses for industry, medicine, government, national defense, and in the homes, driven by rapid advances in technology, entrepreneurship, and policy liberalization. The demand for unlicensed bands is growing in some countries, and some regulators have recognized that need.

In the context of the developing world, the low costs, availability and ease of installation make these technologies extremely attractive. There are various advocates for the use of WLAN-type technologies, and in particular the 2.4GHz band in the context of developing countries, it means there are no guarantees and no protection from interference. There are several small companies and projects deploying network projects, mostly at a local scale.

In these bands the regulation varies from country to country. In some countries there is some leeway in defining the regulations to apply in their respective countries, and different solutions have been adopted. Some of the technology used in these bands is relatively new, that implies some changes in regulation and use. There is very limited information about the regulation of these bands around the world in particular in developing countries, like which countries require a license for operation or under which conditions and limitations is unlicensed use allowed. There is no information either about the use of the bands (are they being used).

The ITU introduced a new question about the policy for licensing WLAN in its annual survey to regulators. The information asked is however very general and responses are limited and incomplete, in particular in the context of Africa. In addition, documentation in this field is limited, in particular on recommendations and guidelines for regulation for the specific context of developing countries. ( =134 )19th October 2009

I.2.2. Sustainability and Entrepreneurship

The low-cost technologies that operate in these bands can potentially enable sustainable connectivity solutions and this one of the motivations for looking at wireless technologies and unlicensed spectrum regulation is that. Indeed, one of the main challenges in ensuring global connectivity is intimately related to sustainability.

The access gap is arguably harder to close, and denotes those situations where „a gap between urban and rural areas continues to exist even under efficient market conditions, since a proportion of the population relatively large in developing countries, cannot afford the market prices at which the service is offered‟. In the developing world context, because of recurrent market and political failures, low availability of capital, and low access and representation for low income communities providing access is even more difficult. To complicate issues the marginal cost per line is much higher where subscriber lines need to be widely spread-out, such as in much of sub-Saharan Africa, or where communities are fairly remote.

( analysis/documents /publication/wcms_113734.pdf ). 20th October 2009 Closing the access gap is therefore, in great part, an issue of: i) Finding technological solutions with lower prices, and ii) Finding the sustainable business models appropriate in a context of developing countries context.

This is intimately linked with poverty, it means people not having the money to pay for the services, or, equivalently, to situations where price is below cost. In some countries costs are also high because of import substitution. Import substitution is a trade and economic policy based on the premise that developing countries should attempt to substitute products which it imports, mostly finished goods with locally produced substitutes. This usually involved high tariff barriers to protect local industries and hence import substitution policies. Often, it has the practical effect of suppressing competition in the market, and therefore raising costs and prices. ( 20thOctober 2009 As proposed by existing telecommunications companies, it has been suggested that it will be difficult to solve the connectivity problem solely through the expensive and centralized solutions. Wired networks are suited mostly for deployment in large-scale centralized networks. The entire network must be planned in advance, and built in a top-down fashion, which is highly capital intensive. Instead one can think of using lower-cost, decentralized wireless technologies, more appropriate to the financial and political reality of these countries, such as the ones deployable on the license-exempt bands.

Large companies and even multinational corporations can potentially achieve sustainability in telecommunication projects. Alternatively, sustainability can also potentially be achieved by using small entrepreneurial models. Indeed, technology in these bands is simple enough to be maintained and expanded by locals with limited technology experience. Few central wireless stations could allow companies to purchase their own wireless equipment, and effectively own their part of the infrastructure as well as client equipment, ensuring maintenance of the system ( 25th October 2009 Some entrepreneurs have expressed their views that technology entrepreneurship can be the driving force for economic change in their country, and entrepreneurship and grassroots bottom-up approaches to development are becoming more important in this context. The existence of smaller players can also be seen as a vehicle for the democratization of technology. Indeed these players, closer to the community, have a better feel of what it needs, and can help it provide that for itself. The idea of a bottom up economy for the telecommunications market, taken one step further, brings the possibility of a different kind of networks.

Small entrepreneurs provide Internet and voice services within their own communities by purchasing inexpensive basic radio equipment and transmitting on unlicensed frequencies. Collections of these local operators, collaborating (and interconnecting) with larger Internet and basic service operators, begin to weave together a patchwork of universal access where little or no telecommunications services existed before. This access patchwork would be cheap, robust, and extremely responsive to innovation.

( ). 25th October 2009 Each mini-telecommunications operator could provide services within its local community just by purchasing the basic radio equipment and transmitting on these unlicensed frequencies. The model is inexpensive, responsive to local needs and realities can grow organically and is fully scalable. In addition, most of these technologies enable broadband access. As the number of local providers increases, so does the overall capacity of the network. Each new operator increases the number of pathways between any two points.

( ) 26th October 2009 The use of entrepreneurial and smaller scale models can be used in urban areas, in this context entrepreneurs can enhance access by provide alternative infrastructure In order for sustainable solutions to flourish in this area the right investment and institutional climate need to be present. With this respect, it is important to establish an attractive and welcoming environment for investment for larger or smaller players. Removing barriers to entry, facilitating business set up, and providing access to capital can maximize the chances of success and enhanced connectivity. In parallel, establishing the right regulatory environment is also essential. In particular, the use of unlicensed bands can be particularly appropriate for small entrepreneurs. Indeed, applying for a license can be costly and time consuming, and small players may lack the status and the resources to smoothly navigate through the process. Apart from the practical difficulties in the process of obtaining a license, and when compared to larger more established players, small entrepreneurs may stand a lower chance of earning a license. Smaller players may for example lack the sufficient legal expertise, or the financial guarantees to apply for a license.

( 27th October 2009

I.2.3. Institutions and the developing world context

In the institutional context of the developing world unlicensed regulation may be well adapted and present an opportunity, by lowering barriers to entry and shielding new entrants from regulatory capture. Indeed, there are difficulties associated with running a business in emergent markets. Most of the populations of developing countries live in rural and often isolated areas. Access to information and telecommunications is essential for development of such areas, but is still inadequate or non-existent in many developing countries. Two major reasons for this are the perceived lack of profitability of rural telecommunications and the lack of appropriate policies and strategies to provide Universal Access.

In rural areas people are generally poor and few people can afford telecommunication services. This is a vicious circle - few potential customers means high price (if cost-based), which further reduces the number of potential customers, and so on. New wireless technologies offer more cost-effective solutions. However, often, the incumbent telecom operator hardly has the capital required for investment in infrastructure to meet needs in more profitable urban areas and there are policy and regulatory barriers for new entrants, who might be willing to invest in rural telecommunications.

The minimum annual revenue/line required by the operator to be profitably is $US 330-400, assuming that the capital cost of $US 1 000 per line. This is more than the average annual GDP/capita in many low-income countries! Moreover, in most developing countries the capital cost per line is significantly higher and the average annual income of people in rural areas is even less than the national average. Therefore, in the absence of strongly supporting policies, like those indicated above, to increase penetration in rural areas remains difficult. Consequently, in low-income countries, the goal of universal service, i.e. a telephone line to each household, appears to be unrealistic in the foreseeable future.

However, the cost of rural telecommunication technology continues to decrease.

This fact, and the advent of the new Mobile Personal Communication Systems by Satellite (GMPCS), like Iridium, Globalstar and Teledesic, as well as the emergence of the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT-2000), which aims to provide seamless operation of mobile terminals throughout the world, may radically change the conditions in the near future.

( 28th October 2009

I.2.4. Relevance for ICT’s Development

In this part of the thesis, we address the question of whether it should be necessary to bring connectivity to developing countries. Some people including leaders in the developed countries argue that in the context of Africa, where extreme poverty reigns, instead of improving ICT there are more urgent priorities such as food, health care, water, sanitation or education. It is obvious that hunger and disease are bigger problems than internet access, but strategies have to be diverse and to act in different fields. It should be noted that interconnection is also a problem in other developed countries. There is, however, indication that ICTs have helped in a number of circumstances. Internet and digital communication technologies offer new means of addressing critical issues facing developing countries

There is also skepticism on the efficiency of ICT projects around the world to enhance development. It is much easier to measure the usage of computers in telecenters or the utilization of community phones than to determine the impact of ICT on development and wealth Policymakers in developing countries, facing the difficult challenge of setting priorities and finding the right balance in allocating often extremely scarce resources, need information on the contribution and cost-effectiveness of different strategies to development. Non-governmental organizations in Africa are using the internet in the fight against AIDS, to improve government transparency, and as a means of levelling the economic playing field for small and medium-sized
enterprises, ICT can also help in education and in making markets work more effectively, by ensuring information circulates. In general, ICT is one of the building blocks for what some call „business ecosystems‟.

The strongest arguments for the importance of ICT are the demand of basic communication services, and the willingness to pay for these services. In the context of growing digital divides between the developed and the developing world, discussing and finding appropriate strategies and policies may be instrumental in generating more efficient and effective communications systems, and achieve a higher penetration of telecommunication services.

( ) 30th October 2009




This chapter focuses of on the views and literature related to licensed and unlicensed bands, especially the 2,4GHz and 5 GHz. It‟s also point out some of the tools that are used for a good functionality of the above bands. The related literature is based on the study of various authors and scholar understands of the concepts.


In this section, we describe different aspects of the technologies that are used with the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands. One subsection will give some advantages of the wireless over wired systems. The recent the success and fast growing cellular industry in the developing world, is partly explained by just that. Africa has the fastest-growing mobile phone market worldwide. Entrepreneurs and development organizations are eagerly seizing the opportunity presented by such growth. They are creating mobile phone applications for profitable and nonprofit ventures across the continent. Millions of Africans, for example, now use their mobile phones to transfer money, turn on water wells, learn soccer game scores and buy and sell goods.

The penetration of the mobile phone is far greater than that of the Internet in Africa, especially in rural areas, making it the most accessible communication tool, said Jon Gossier, founder and president of Appfrica, a technology company with headquarters in Uganda.

( htm ) 1st November 2009


Ende der Leseprobe aus 75 Seiten


Use of Licensed and Unlicensed 2.4 and 5 GHz Bands in Developing Countries. Rwanda as a case study
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License, Rwanda, Case Study, Internet
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Paulin Mukunzi (Autor:in), 2009, Use of Licensed and Unlicensed 2.4 and 5 GHz Bands in Developing Countries. Rwanda as a case study, München, GRIN Verlag,


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