In collaboration with the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) and UhuruOne, a local Internet service provider, Microsoft has launched a White Spaces pilot project as a part of its 4Afrika Initiative, a $70 million effort to bring smart devices, connectivity and technology training to African entrepreneurs, students and businesses.
While Africa has the highest expansion in mobile broadband growth, wireless broadband services there have remained largely unaffordable in the past. Reducing the cost of broadband access in the African continent will mean hundreds of millions more Africans will get online. With the advent of TV White Spaces (TVWS) technology, a new and affordable way of providing broadband transmission can be offered within Tanzania by utilizing unused portions of the wireless spectrum generally reserved for television.
Focusing initially on a broadband use in an urban setting, White Spaces technology is equally suited for more rural applications throughout the country. In cities, TVWS applications support such areas as machine-to-machine communications, expanded WiFi hotspot coverage and greater broadband access for mobile traffic.
Utilization of the Microsoft TVWS Database can offer users access to high-quality connectivity channels by simply specifying a location. The White Spaces Database returns a list of TV channels that can be used for voice, video, and data communication along with the allowed power levels on each channel.