TV White Space project receives funding for deployment in South Africa

TV White Space Project receives funding for deployment in South Africa
According to USTDA, South Africa is the first country in Africa to publish a TVWS regulatory framework.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a grant to support an Adaptrum project designed to help improve internet access to rural areas of South Africa on Monday, 5 August 2019. The grant aims to fund several TV White Space (TVWS) deployments in order to establish business models that can be replicated across the country.

According to the USTDA, South Africa is the first country in Africa to publish a TVWS regulatory framework, making it the perfect fit for technology seeking to bridge the nation’s digital divide. The project is intended to demonstrate just how feasible, economical and affordable the TVWS solution is when it comes to connecting rural South Africa. 

“Since deploying the first TVWS system in Africa, Adaptrum has sought ways to use TVWS to bring much-needed connectivity across Africa,” says Haiyun Tang, CEO of Adaptrum. “Now that TVWS is allowed in South Africa, we are extremely pleased to have the support of USTDA for this project to ensure our technology can be deployed affordably and sustainably by our local South African partners.”

The Adaptrum-led project team is made up of many international partners including Microsoft, International Data Corporation and Project Isizwe.  Their role is to undertake three TVWS network builds and develop a business plan to help ISPs and their investors understand and take advantage of commercial opportunities with TVWS.

“The support from USTDA today validates what we’ve seen in South Africa and many other locations – TVWS is a valuable and important technology for enabling affordable and reliable connectivity,” says Kevin Connolly, Director of Airband International at Microsoft. 

“Microsoft works with hardware partners like Adaptrum and investment partners like USTDA to accelerate bringing connectivity to millions of people around the globe who lack internet access, and we’re excited to bring this work to fruition in South Africa today.”

Edited by Jenna Cook

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