Brought to you as a public service of the Open Spectrum Foundation (Stichting Open Spectrum), Amsterdam - Prague
"We propose that de-licensing of the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands should be an integral part of the African regulatory harmonization process...and that more spectrum be considered for license-exempt use... Africa should lead the way in liberal unlicensing of spectrum..." ---from "License-Exempt Wireless Policy: Results of an African Survey" by Isabel Neto, Sharon E. Gillett and Michael L. Best, presented at the ITS Conference (Berlin, Germany, 7 September 2004)
"One of the largest WiMAX equipment vendors in Africa, Alvarion, estimates that there are just over 100 installed WiMAX systems in Africa; over 45 of these are operating in unlicensed spectrum..." ---from Balancing Act News Update No. 435 (January 2009)
To see a brief summary of a country's WiFi rules in the box below, put your mouse inside the country's borders on the map at left.
Moreso than in other regions, the regulatory situation for Wi-fi at the national level in Africa is often unclear, unresolved or inconsistent. For more detailed information about radio regulation in a particular country, click on the country in the map. Use the "Country pages" selector in the left column to see countries not visible in the map (like Somaliland).
"Kayak.com co-founder Paul English plans to blanket Africa in free wireless Internet" by Austin Carr, Fast Company, 12 May 2010: "Paul English, the cofounder of travel search engine Kayak.com, wants to blanket all of Africa with free and low-cost Wi-Fi. It's a 'big, big project,' one that will consume the next decade of his life, English tells FastCompany.com... English plans to kick off the nonprofit/for-profit hybrid this summer and begin creating partnerships between JoinAfrica and local African for-profit telcos... 'I want this to be completely self-sustaining,' he says... 'Having email and Skype has been transformative for the handful of villages I've worked in,' he says..."
"What's the 'digital dividend'? West African digital broadcast migration," by Russell Southwood, Association for Progressive Communication, 22 November 2010: "African countries are committed to migrating to digital broadcasting by June 2015. This will be a costly process both for government and citizens and it is currently unclear who will benefit from it or where the resources needed to make the transition will come from. Only a minority of African countries have started the policy work needed to create the transition and most of the discussion is focused on technical questions... In the few African countries that have done detailed policy work on the digital transition (for example, Kenya and Tanzania), they have decided to separate out the 'signal carrier' function... This creates the opportunity for broadcasters (both public and private) to share transmission infrastructure and this sharing will allow an extension of all broadcasters' coverage areas..."
"Africa's Wireless Internet Opportunity" by José Maria Figueres Olsen, in Connect-World's Special Issue on Africa & the Middle East: Pervasive Connectivity as a Tool for Development, 1/2004 (free registration required for access).
"Five African countries harmonize telecom management," African Press Agency (via Afrique Avenir), 15 November 2010: "Four West and one Central African countries - Benin, Burkina, Mali, Niger and Chad - have just endorsed a document on the coordination of radio-electric frequencies... Gathered in Niamey under the aegis of the Niger multi-sector regulation Authority (ARM), representatives from these countries have spent three days assessing the current technology and communication development as well as the increasing applications for radio-electric frequencies... These five countries seek, he said, to jointly endorse and sign a document on the coordination and sharing of frequencies at their common borders..."
AfricWifi - "le Portail de la Communauté Africaine Wireless," sponsored by AfricTel (all in French).
The Meraka Institute's Wireless Africa Wiki: "The Wireless Africa group is researching ways and means to develop sustainable information and communications technology in developing countries. This will be achieved through community-owned decentralized mesh networks built on open source technology."
ResearchICTAfrica: "Through a network of African researchers it will generate the information and analysis needed to inform appropriate but visionary policy formulation..."
"Algeria, Kenya, Mali and Mauritius have within the last year enacted telecommunication regulations that allow for the deployment of both VOIP and Wi-Fi... [The government of Algeria] recently approved licenses allowing ISPs (Internet service providers) to use VOIP and Wi-Fi..." ---from "VOIP, Wi-Fi seen aiding Africa development" by Michael Malakata, IDG News Service (Lusaka), for ComputerWorld Singapore, 13 May 2005.
Telecommunications Management Group, Inc., is "Overseeing the licensing module for an EC/ITU project intended to create an integrated ICT market in West Africa. TMG is reviewing existing licensing practices and procedures in all the ECOWAS/UEMOA countries, carrying out case studies on different licensing procedures, preparing a report of guidelines and recommendations on best practice licensing procedures and practices, and drafting model licenses."