Namibian TV Completes World’s Largest White Spaces Pilot Project

At the end of August, MyDigitalBridge Foundation, in partnership with Microsoft and Adaptrum, and with support from the Millennium Challenge Corporation and Millennium Challenge Account-Nambia, announced that the group had successfully trialed the Namibian TV White Spaces (TVWS) pilot project. The pilot consists of a network deployed over a 62 km x 152 km (9,425 square km) area covering three regional councils in Namibia and connecting 28 schools in northern Namibia. This, the group said, “makes it the biggest TVWS project of its kind in terms of area coverage.”

Fernando de Sousa, Microsoft's General Manager for Africa Initiatives, said, “We are seeing first-hand the direct impact of TVWS delivering affordable access to communities and business. The unlimited potential of broadband is enabling large scale development of human capital, the establishment of e-commerce services in the small and medium business ecosystem and the delivery of government services such as education and health care to the community.”

The network connects three regional offices, 28 schools and seven education circuit offices, all with a link distance of 8 to 10 km. Typical speeds range from 5 Mbps to 10 Mbps using Adaptrum ARCS 2.0 TVWS radios. A demonstration included high-resolution Skype video conferencing from three locations, each connected to the Internet using the Adaptrum radios.

Additional information on this and other projects can be found at Microsoft 4Afrika. Microsoft 4Afrika is currently piloting TVWS projects in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, and Ghana.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.