Microsoft's White Space Initiative Pushes Kenya's Broadband
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Microsoft Corp.’s 4Afrika initiative is aiming to increase broadband penetration in both developing and developed countries, the first of which will be in Kenya where white space network deployments will increase broadband subscribers by more than a factor of 11 this year, according to an IHS report entitled “Identifying Opportunities in White Space Radio” from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).
Microsoft’s developments in the white space segment are, in part, focused on helping urban and rural areas in developing nations expand their broadband provision. Through its 4Afrika initiative, Microsoft’s white space deployments in Kenya, specifically, will increase the current broadband penetration during the next few months to 68,000 subscribers, up from 6,000 individuals.
The deployment in Kenya will be the first wide scale use of white space radio technology. IHS defines white space as the radio spectrum that has been left unused following the transition from analog to digital television—i.e., the UHF and VHF bands. The transition from analog to digital has streamlined spectrum usage, leaving behind white space frequency bands, which are unlicensed and can effectively be used for any application.