THE NEED FOR SPECTRUM MANAGEMENT IN LIBERIA

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Spectrum Management - Radio Frequency Spectrum is not an inexhaustible resource. It is very precious resource which can be managed to ensure efficient and equitable access for the services which use it. Thus, the coordinating authority must be made aware of what demands will be placed on the spectrum into the future. Political Issues - The government or regulatory agencies need to effectively license and regulate spectrum. Technical Considerations - If anyone could broadcast signals at any frequency, it would be total chaos, which would lead to a lot of interferences, effectively rendering the spectrum useless for any kind of meaningful communication. As a result, much of the telecommunications market across Africa is faced by a looming capacity and coverage ‘crunch’, as allocated spectrum fails to keep pace with the on-going rapid pace of mobile adoption. Economic Impacts - Radio spectrum can be used in various applications in socio-economic life, from telecommunications, broadcasting to aviation, maritime and science services. It is an important natural and strategic resource to a nation; that is why it is imperative that national regulatory authorities allocate and license appropriate spectrum to the services and sectors that need it in order to maximize the value generated by this finite resource.

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THE NEED FOR SPECTRUM MANAGEMENT IN LIBERIA:

THE NEED FOR SPECTRUM MANAGEMENT IN LIBERIA FINAL PROJECT ADVANCED SPECTRUM MANAGEMENT FOR MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS GSMA TRAINING JUNE 26 TH , 2017 – JULY 31 ST , 2017 VENESA FARNIE KAMARA ANTI – FRAUD OFFICER LIBERIA TELECOMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY

TABLE OF CONTENT:

TABLE OF CONTENT INTRODUCTION SPECTRUM MANAGEMENT MODEL OVERVIEW OF LIBERIA’S TELECOM SECTOR THE REGULATOR: LIBERIA TELECOMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY (LTA ) WHAT IS SPECTRUM ? MANAGING SPECTRUM: A LIMITED RESOURCE MAJOR ELEMENTS OF SPECTRUM MANAGEMENT THE ROLE OF THE GOVERNMENT EVOLUTION OF CELLULAR MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES EVOLUTION IN WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS CHALLENGES OF MOBILE OPERATORS IN LIBERIA ECONOMIC BENEFITS CONCLUSION RECOMMENDATION REFERENCES

INTRODUCTION:

INTRODUCTION Mobile communications systems revolutionized the way people communicate, joining together communications and mobility, becoming very essential to the world in a remarkably short time. The importance of telecommunications to economic and social development is well established both for developed and developing countries and most governments interested in promoting a vibrant telecoms sector will seek to build a strong and independent regulator to ensure that national development goals are also met. This is in fact the stated position of the Government of Liberia (GoL) (GoL, 2007). In this presentation, we are going to look at the evolution of spectrum and it’s importance to cellular mobile technologies; the evolution of mobiles from 1 st generation (1G) analogue and to fifth generation (5G) digital; the roles of regulators and governments in managing spectrum by setting up policies that will be effective including the economic benefits of mobile broadband. As more people are using mobile phones in their daily lives, it became clear that demand for data services (such as access to the internet) has growing exponentially.

OVERVIEW OF LIBERIA’S TELECOM SECTOR :

OVERVIEW OF LIBERIA’S TELECOM SECTOR Despite the years of civil conflict and its relatively small population, Liberia has a vibrant telecommunications sector in which new telecommunications services are regularly offered to consumers. The main players in the telecom sector include three (3) private GSM mobile network operators (LonestarCell MTN, Orange, and Novafone), and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MoPT), Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) and Liberia Telecommunications Corporation (LIBTELCO). The three (3) GSM network operators compete for customers offering services over their wireless networks and the government owned LIBTELCO is the sole provider of wireless fixed line services mainly to public entities, the growth of mobile and internet use continues at a robust pace. According to LTA (2016), mobile penetration stands at approximately 75 percent while internet penetration is at 21 percent; both numbers are high relative to Liberia’s income. The LTA pointed out that “the high penetration rates are influenced by the fact that many individuals have multiple SIM cards to take advantage of lower on-net prices and promotions, thus inflating the penetration rates of mobile voice and (mobile) internet”. In the mobile sector, competition has led to some of the lowest call prices in Africa despite the country’s power infrastructure handicaps.

Slide6:

The arrival of the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) Submarine Cable and the launch of the Cable Consortium of Liberia (CCL) in 2013 had a major impact in the supply of retail broadband Internet. CCL is owned jointly by the Government of Liberia, Libtelco and the three mobile network operators: Lonestar, Orange and Novafone. Internet and broadband networks are available through several commercial wireless internet service providers (ISPs) and as well as the main GSM mobile networks. Generally, Liberia’s telecommunications sector is expected to experience substantial improvement through the international fiber optic submarine cable, but it requires considerable investment in domestic fixed-line infrastructure. The government plans to invest in building a fiber ring around Monrovia and its environs to increase broadband penetration. Market penetration rates in Liberia’s telecoms sector – 2016 (e) Penetration of telecoms services: Penetration Fixed-line telephony 0.2% Fixed broadband 0.2% Mobile SIM (population) 84.8%

THE REGULATOR: LIBERIA TELECOMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY (LTA):

THE REGULATOR: LIBERIA TELECOMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY (LTA) One of LTAs key functions is to ensure the efficient utilization of spectrum, which is a scare resource; spectrum planning and allocation of frequencies to users for different radio services are part of the LTA’s major regulatory activities.  The LTAs frequency allocation is carried out in line with the International Telecommunication Unions (ITUs) Radio Regulation guidelines but with local dissimilarity. The LTA has granted frequency authorizations ranging from 9,000 Hertz to 275,000,000,000 Hertz, showing a significant increase in the demand for telecommunications products and services. Given the rather chaotic sector situation inherited by the LTA, the regulator has since determined that a high level of illegal frequency usage is taking place in the country. This state of affairs cannot continue without redress, as this has implications not only for sector stability, but also for Government of Liberia’s revenue intake from the industry. It is in this context, that the LTA felt the compelling need to undertake a series of measures that eventually lead to the installation of TCI Spectrum Monitoring System. This system is capable of identifying unlicensed and illegal frequency users by use of its directional finding capability. It is a reliable solution for spectrum monitoring and promises to substantially increase LTA / GoL revenue generation capabilities relative to the sector, while boosting LTAs efficient spectrum management capacity.   

WHAT IS SPECTRUM?:

WHAT IS SPECTRUM? Radio Frequencies – 10 KHz to 3000 GHz A Scarce but Renewable Public Resource Cannot Be Confined Within National Borders Used and Managed through International Treaties and National Policies Vital to Economic, Social and Cultural Life In the WRC-15 results, Africa is good for coverage and capacity bands. For example, the L-band (1427-1518 MHz) was harmonized and can be used alongside the 1800 MHz band; and, the C-band (3.4-3.4 GHz) was harmonized also; and can now license the sub-1Ghz bands to provide better penetration for LTE services.

MANAGING SPECTRUM: A LIMITED RESOURCE:

MANAGING SPECTRUM: A LIMITED RESOURCE Spectrum Management - Radio Frequency Spectrum is not an inexhaustible resource. It is very precious resource which can be managed to ensure efficient and equitable access for the services which use it. Thus, the coordinating authority must be made aware of what demands will be placed on the spectrum into the future. Political Issues - The government or regulatory agencies need to effectively license and regulate spectrum. Technical Considerations - If anyone could broadcast signals at any frequency, it would be total chaos, which would lead to a lot of interferences, effectively rendering the spectrum useless for any kind of meaningful communication. As a result, much of the telecommunications market across Africa is faced by a looming capacity and coverage ‘crunch’, as allocated spectrum fails to keep pace with the on-going rapid pace of mobile adoption. Economic Impacts - Radio spectrum can be used in various applications in socio-economic life, from telecommunications, broadcasting to aviation, maritime and science services. It is an important natural and strategic resource to a nation ; that is why it is imperative that national regulatory authorities allocate and license appropriate spectrum to the services and sectors that need it in order to maximize the value generated by this finite resource.

THE ROLE OF THE GOVERNMENT:

THE ROLE OF THE GOVERNMENT Government regulatory body should make sure spectrum is identified, allocated and licensed in alignment with internationally harmonized mobile spectrum bands in order foster coordination between neighbouring countries, minimize interference, limit cross-border conflicts, facilitate roaming so that citizens can take equipment across borders, encourage competition, and provide economies of scale for equipment manufacturers, who can manufacture equipment knowing that it will work in a number of different markets in other countries. The radio frequency spectrum is freely available to whomever wants to use it. Choosing an appropriate spectrum licensing framework is important to foster a transparent and stable licensing framework that prioritizes exclusive access rights, promotes high quality of service and encourages investment. Because access to the radio frequency is vital to meet national political, cultural, social and economic objectives, it is in the national interest for nations to participate in international cooperative processes. Licensing authorities must publish a road map of the planned release of additional spectrum bands to maximize the benefits of spectrum use. The road map should include a comprehensive and reasonably detailed inventory of current use. The government has the task of ensuring fair, open and flexible access to the spectrum, with the aim of providing the best possible service to users of the spectrum. Fair allocation of spectrum at a reasonable cost to industry will maximize the value generated by a spectrum band, and this in turn has a positive impact on social as well as economic development — creating jobs and increasing productivity, among many other benefits.

EVOLUTION OF CELLULAR MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES :

EVOLUTION OF CELLULAR MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES First generation (1G) of cellular mobile phone use analog communications techniques which was simpler to use but more susceptible to interference and had support for only 1 user per channel. Second generation (2G) differed from the 1G in their use of digital transmission instead of analog transmission, and by the introduction of advanced and fast phone-to-network signaling. Third-generation (3G) is different from 2G technology because 3G uses packet switching rather than circuit switching for data transmission. Fourth Generation (4G):  Support higher data rates through wider channel bandwidths and the use of Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing which delivers higher spectrum efficiency. One of the main ways in which 4G differed technologically from 3G was in its elimination of circuit switching and employing an all-IP network. Thus, 4G ushered in a treatment of voice calls just like any other type of streaming audio media, utilizing packet switching over internet, LAN or WAN networks via VoIP. Fifth Generation (5G) network architecture that could dramatically improve the delivery of services and support a variety of new applications. The mobile industry, telecommunication industry, academic institutions and national governments are currently defining requirements and investigating what technologies could be used in 5G networks. The speed and reach of 5G services will be heavily dependent on access to the right amount and type of spectrum.  

CHALLENGES OF MOBILE OPERATORS IN LIBERIA :

CHALLENGES OF MOBILE OPERATORS IN LIBERIA Mobile operators face major challenges in Liberia including: High cost of electric power (utilities) Poor national infrastructure (roads) High taxation including import duties and tariffs Insufficient customer base Inadequate skilled manpower Problems in ensuring network security High cost of network operations and maintenance Poorly managed spectrum – radio station operators complained about interferences Regulators should know that telecom operators most important challenge is that the operators traditional revenue (voice and sms) is dropping due to fact that subscribers are moving towards the usage of data, using VoIP and VoLTE to make voice calls. Therefore, service providers have to come up with new differentiating offers other than the traditional voice, sms and data bundles.

ECONOMIC BENEFITS :

ECONOMIC BENEFITS There are two levels of control over personal finance that mobile broadband brings. Firstly, the cost to an individual of running a bank account or other financial service is much lower when they are able to do so without travelling to a bank branch for every transaction. The second level of control over personal finance that mobile broadband brings allows people to transfer money and, in addition, gives them bank accounts that enable them to plan for the future. Mobile banking over broadband will allow people to save money; for investments, for adversity or for retirement. An increase in Internet availability means education will become more accessible and affordable and help Liberia close the gap with the rest of the world as regards the provision of education. Moreover , broadband Internet can improve the quality of education and expand the learning capacity of sectors like national defence, public safety (police & emergency services), navigation, business and industrial communications including personal communications   like emails. These include email, discussion boards, live webcasts, podcasts, wikis, blogs, and customized course management that provide lesson plans and teaching material for teachers. In addition to the economic benefits, there is also a wealth of social benefits that are associated with a steady development of mobile broadband: Higher mobile penetration would stimulate innovation and create new businesses and jobs, Rural areas lacking the fixed infrastructure would benefit from mobile services to access communication and internet services, Mobile would improve public access to education and health services and e-government for all.

Slide16:

In conclusion, mobile networks have been shown to be the fastest and most affordable way of connecting people to voice and data services all over the world, and mobile cannot exist without the foundation of spectrum. One can establish the value of a discrete block of spectrum by putting it up for sale and seeing how much anyone is willing to pay to use it – in financial terms. This is the broad principle behind auctions and, by extension, secondary markets – including spectrum trading, leasing and even resale by downstream service providers. But the building blocks of spectrum value are as much political and socioeconomic as they are purely financial. A government’s approach to spectrum regulation, its market structure and its investment regulations can influence the perceived value of a spectrum licence. Add to that the demographics, physical geography and political history of the country and get a picture of valuation that is highly situational and variable. Spectrum could bring about significant social benefits for Liberia, with social justice dividends including improved wealth distribution and cultural diversity, developmental benefits such as access to education and healthcare and improved food security, as well as increasing innovation and infrastructure, all of that can only lead to an improved business environment. In addition, mobile broadband enables consumers to access e-commerce; the buying and selling of goods, as well as the paying of bills and taxes, over the Internet. CONCLUSION

RECOMMENDATION:

RECOMMENDATION While auctioning spectrums, government regulatory agencies should take into consideration the history of the country and its socio-economic situation Government regulatory agencies should define national and organizational goals Legal framework should be established to guide operations Spectrum is a sovereign asset and should be used efficiently While crafting spectrum licenses, government regulatory agencies should take into consideration geography, demography, socio-economic capabilities, market structure amongst others

REFERENCES:

REFERENCES www.export.gov/article?id=Liberia-Telecommunications-Services Dhanaraj Thakur, Michael L. Best2,3, Kipp Jones3, { dthakur , mikeb , kippster }@gatech.edu , School of Public Policy Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA World Bank International Development Association. http://web.worldbank.org/ “Revised spectrum forecasts using the new spectrum model”, prepared for GSMA, 18th January 2013. The Mobile Economy, West Africa 2017, GSMA ITU Handbook on National Spectrum Management. Geneva: ITU Radiocommunication Bureau. Chapter 1 • An internet tutorial guide containing learning outcomes and discussion questions is available through the ITU . See Review of Radio Spectrum Management Professor Martin Cave for Department of Trade Industry, Her Majesty’s Treasury, March 2002, available at: www.ofcom.org.uk/static/archive/ra/spectrum-review/2002review/1_whole_job.pdf (“2002 U.K. Review of Radio Spectrum”). Plum 2009 Ofcom report Joji Thomas Philip, DoT wing seeks higher spectrum use fee, Economic Times, July 3, 2010, http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/telecom/DoT-wing-seeks-higher-spectrum-usefee/articleshow/6122246.cms. George S. Ford, PhD, Calculating the Value of Unencumbered AWS-III Spectrum, Phoenix Center , June 25, 2008, www.phoenix-center.org/perspectives/Perspective08-01Final.pdf. 16 Michael Wei, China issues 3G licenses to main carriers, Reuters UK, W See November 2003 InfoDev report, The Wireless Internet Opportunity for Developing Countries, available at www.infodev.org/en/Publication.24.html. See “License Exempt Wireless Policy: Results of an African Survey”, Isabel Neto , Michael Best, Sharon Gillett, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Information Technologies and International Development, Volume 2, Number 3, Spring 2005, 73-90 . See “ Aptilo Networks Enables Ghana’s First 4G Network”, Press release by Aptilo Networks, 10 November 2010, www.marketwire.com/printer_friendly?od= 1351030, and “ Aptilo Selected To Deploy DiscoveryTel Ghana’s 4G Network, TeleGeography , 11 November 2010, at www.telegeography.com/products/commsupdate/articles/2010/11/11/aptilo-selected Uzor , Ben Jr., “ Mobitel Launches 4G Broadband in Nigeria”, ConnectNigeria , 27 October 2010, at

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