Dr. Darren WilkinsBy Dr. Darren Wilkins (DWilkins@SaharaTechnology.Com Tel: 0777129092 & 0886703789)When the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) issued a press release, suspending the licenses and authorizations of all media operators registered from January 1, 2018-June 18, 2018, the print, electronic and social media did not take too kindly to that decision. Many perceived this move by Government as a “clampdown” or “censorship” of the media. At the risk of sounding like a Government spokesperson, I do not think this is an attempt to strangulate or “clampdown” on the media. Perhaps the “timing” is what’s making folks nervous. But media and telecom operators use Radio Frequency spectrum or RF spectrum, which is managed, monitored and regulated by certain Government entities. These entities must be vigilant, conscientious, and dynamic in performing their tasks, especially when the demand for RF spectrum continues to rise, due to innovation and new technologies. With high demand and heavy use of the RF spectrum, “anomalies” become inevitable. Hence, the need to regularly review or revisit licensing regimes, as part of spectrum management to ensure that the spectrum is being properly used. Today, I have chosen to provide insight into RF spectrum management, strictly from an ICT perspective.RF spectrum is a scarce resource for any country including Liberia, and as such its usage must be properly managed, taking into account the natural phenomenon of its capabilities and constraints. RF spectrum is a key component of the telecommunications infrastructure that underpins the information society. Its importance cannot be overemphasized. It is a limited resource that must be apportioned among users by Government. The entity charged with the responsibility of managing, monitoring and regulating our RF spectrum is the Liberia Telecommunications Authority or LTA. The LTA remains the regulatory and competition authority charged with the statutory responsibility to ensure a vibrant telecommunications sector in Liberia. It has the responsibility to create an enabling environment that promotes market driven fair competition, which provides accessible and affordable communication services for all.Key on its list of responsibilities is the task of setting regulations for the nation’s RF spectrum; a task that it continues to perform effectively. One of its many regulations is that all users of the RF spectrum, unless otherwise stated, are required to have a spectrum license. Most regulators give exemptions to certain entities including: embassies and international organizations under the Vienna Convention and low power equipment, such as those operating in the 2.4 GHz band used by Wifi, Bluetooth etc. The LTA has a licensing regime which recognizes several types of Licenses. These licenses can be reviewed or revisited as time, technology and demand change, hence the letter from MICAT. In keeping with international standards, the LTA has built up its capacity to manage our RF spectrum, which is critical to our communications infrastructure. Sometime in 2017, an NGO called Nethope, through the USAID, provided a Spectrum Management and Monitoring solution (LS Observer) to the LTA. This Spectrum management and monitoring solution provides LTA with the foundation of spectrum monitoring capability, including identification of spectrum conflicts, identification of free spectrum, isolation of dead zones in coverage, and locating rogue networks.Ostensibly, innovation and the rate at which technology accelerates require policymakers and regulators to be equipped with the proper tools and capabilities, and position themselves to modernize their spectrum management capabilities within the country. It is equally clear that the sudden rush to exploit RF spectrum for commercial and social benefits, as a result of a blitzkrieg of new technologies and associated acronyms with terms such as DTV, HDTV, DVB-H, GSM, WCDMA, CDMA-2000, DAB, WiMax, WiFi, FWA, and TETRA, necessitates a parallel response on the part of regulators. The LTA experienced a quantum leap in its ability to manage our RF spectrum by installing a spectrum management solution. It (LTA) now has the ability to monitor, establish and maintain or support spectrum inventory activities and enforce spectrum usage policies and procedures. We must applaud them for that!Regulations will continue to evolve to close the communications and connectivity gaps, respond to changes in technology and the skyrocketing data traffic growth. They (regulations) will also continue to deliver on the immense potential of the internet and trending “phenomenon” such as the nascent Internet of Things industry. Therefore, effective spectrum licensing plays a key role in providing operators with access to RF spectrum. If structured correctly, licensing can help ICT sector attract the investment needed to further expand access to communications and enhance the quality and range of services delivered to the people.Next year, the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 or WRC-19 is expected to be held. Governments around the world are expected to build upon the foundations of previous conferences, to identify sufficient spectrum to support the future of the digital society. The WRC-19 is expected to look at spectrum for mobile broadband in frequencies between 24.25 and 86 GHz, thus, making it (WRC-19) essential to fully realizing the 5G vision. But, for now, we in Liberia need to ensure that our RF spectrum is properly managed and not impact any of the freedoms provided in our Constitution. The Government means well and I believe it is not doing anything that has not been done before. We are all cognizant of the fact that our choice of wrong policies, regulations and standards can lock our economy into long periods of economic under-performance, something we cannot afford anymore. Finally, our RF spectrum is one of the many natural resources that God has endowed us with. The primary objective of Government is to protect the RF spectrum users from harmful interference by one another, but in practice, spectrum management is a source of revenue for the Government. Adopting and managing spectrum reforms that address high-level changes, such as the transition to digital television, the path to third-generation mobile services, launching of wireless fixed broadband services, etc., are necessary if we are serious about improving our sector and economy. Until next week, Carpe diem!!!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
“We have not decided which number I will wear for this coming season, but that decision will come soon.” Bush’s second choice appears to be 25, currently worn by veteran special teamer Fred McAfee, who has indicated he would be willing to give it (or sell it) to Bush. Players often change numbers to accommodate others, often selling the rights, as New York Giants punter Jeff Feagles did two years in a row _ first trading No. 10 to Eli Manning in 2004, then No. 17 to Plaxico Burress last year. Feagles got a vacation for his family to give Manning his number. Burress paid for an outdoor kitchen in Feagles’ Arizona home. Other number exchanges haven’t been as amicable. When Clinton Portis joined the Washington Redskins two years ago, he bought No. 26 for $40,000 from safety Ifeanyi Ohalete. Portis paid $20,000 up front but declined to pay the rest after Ohalete was cut by the Redskins and picked up by Arizona. Ohalete then sued and the issue was solved before a trial when the two sides agreed on a lump-sum payment of $18,000 to settle the matter. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! DENVER – Reggie Bush won’t get to wear the No. 5 he made famous at USC for the New Orleans Saints. Not this season and perhaps not ever. Atlanta general manager Rich McKay, co-chairman of the competition committee, said Tuesday that the committee had recommended against Bush’s request for his college number. The decision was made by the committee after two conference calls. It was never discussed by the owners. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals “Nobody is comfortable that an exception be made to the policy and no one is confident that there will ever be a change,” McKay said at the NFL owners meetings, adding that it might come up again, but certainly not until after the 2006 season has started. Under NFL rules, running backs are required to wear numbers between 20-49. Since 1973, the only major change was made last year, when receivers were given permission to wear numbers in the teens because teams were running out of 80s due in large part to an increase in receivers and tight ends on rosters. Bush, chosen second overall by New Orleans in April’s draft, wore No. 5 at Southern California and had asked the NFL to make an exception. McKay said the committee also had requests from other players to wear numbers normally not allowed for their positions. Bush had pledged to donate 25 percent of his take on jersey sales to the New Orleans-area recovery from Hurricane Katrina if the league allowed him to wear No. 5. He said Tuesday he’ll stick to that pledge despite the NFL’s rejection of his request. “Obviously, I am disappointed by today’s decision but I respect the NFL Competition Committee’s judgment,” Bush said. “The No. 5 is special to me, but with the proceeds from the jersey sales I was also trying to do something special for the city of New Orleans and the entire region.