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 (opens in new tab). Microsoft 4Afrika is currently piloting TVWS projects in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, and Ghana.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.