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Spectra Wireless, Microsoft launch first commercial TV white spaces in Africa

By Emeka Aginam

As part of the efforts to bring more widespread access to the African continent and help enhance productivity, Spectra Wireless in partnership with Microsoft 4Afrika have launched Africa’s first commercial service network utilising TV white spaces in Ghana.

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The initiative would allow University students to get fast, affordable internet bundles and receive zero-interest financing when purchasing a new device.

Accordingly, the cheapest data package starts at just two Ghana cedi per day and provides 24 hours of access. It would allow students to buy affordable, high speed internet bundles and devices. The commercial service builds on the success of the initial TV white spaces pilot launched in May 2014. Spectra Wireless is the first company in Africa to offer a consumer broadband Internet access service leveraging TV white space technology. Under the commercial pilot service, university students will be able to purchase high speed internet bundles, use relevant apps, including Microsoft Office 365 and The Microsoft Virtual Academy and apply for zero-interest loans in partnership with UT Bank to purchase select, internet-enabled Microsoft, Lenovo, Dell and HP devices.

Meanwhile, according to the International Telecommunications Union, Africa led in Mobile-broadband growth with penetration in the continent reaching close to 20% in 2014, up from 2% in 2010.

“Research by the Wi-Fi Alliance in the United States has revealed that 90% of students view access to Wi-Fi as critical to their success,” Fernando de Sousa, General Manager Africa Initiatives at Microsoft, said, adding that, “high speed broadband offers students and teachers a way to access learning resources from all over the world, bridging the divide between developed and developing nations. While the initial pilot project in Ghana offered wireless broadband to universities, this new commercial service allows students to have their own internet bundles, determine their own usage and purchase an internet-enabled device for anytime, anywhere access and enhanced productivity.”

For Sam Darko, Country Leader of Spectra Wireless, “We are breaking away from the standard way of selling Internet services in Africa.

“Everyone wants and needs access to the Internet, but there are very few, if any, reliable, unlimited and affordable solutions for the masses.



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