July 9, 2009
The Wireless Access Providers’ Association (WAPA), sent out an advisory to its membership today, advising members to stop using 5600 – 5650 MHz spectrum because of interference with C-band weather radar systems.
This advisory follows an investigation by the Open Spectrum Alliance (OSA) into spectrum which may be feasible to demonstrate an industry self-regulation model through lite-licensing spectrum for terrestrial point-to-point wireless links in the 5.9 – 6.1Ghz range.
In discussions with the South African Weather Service, OSA found that wireless access providers are currently causing interference with C-band weather radar systems.
C-band weather radar is used for measuring rainfall, flood prediction, aviation safety, storm tracking / prediction, civil and industrial disaster mitigation as well agricultural and environmental management.
WAPA and the OSA would like to encourage more transparency in the use of frequency spectrum in South Africa. Spectrum is a national resource and it is in the interest of all citizens that spectrum be used as efficiently as possible. There is a need for greater public awareness and education around spectrum resources in South Africa.
Spectrum has gone “from coal to gold” in the last few years. With 300 new ECNS licensees, many of whom will be providing fixed wireless access services, national spectrum resources will be under added pressure. Positive dialog, cooperation and a new approach to spectrum management is needed.
Open Spectrum Alliance partners currently include the ISPA, WAPA, The Shuttleworth Foundation and 24.com. Simply stated OSA is a grouping of parties with an interest in seeing more bits moving: wider network coverage, more connected citizens and more online transactions.