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04.10.2005 General News

Telecom experts begin five-day meeting

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Accra, Oct. 4, GNA - A five-day workshop to find ways of ensuring electromagnetic interference-free in three West African countries opened in Accra on Tuesday.

The meeting, featuring users, regulators and policy makers, mostly in the Air Force and Army in Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon comes in the wake of the emergence of the use of wireless as the new reality in the telecommunication industry.

Dubbed; "Spectrum Management Training Workshop", participants are discussing topics such as "Satellite Registration and Communication"; "Terrestrial Coordinating/Allocation"; "Spectrum Planning and Management"; "National Frequency Management-Interaction and Country Experience"; "Spectrum Engineering and Pricing" as well as "Spectrum Enforcement and Monitoring".

Spectrum is an electromagnetic free space that deals with movement from three kHz (kilohertz) to different intervals of which the current highest interval is 3000 kHz.

The Spectrum is used in all aspects telecommunication, chiefly in video and audio broadcast, but is subject to interference, demanding proper management and control systems.

The workshop, which was organised by the London-based Kemilinks International, an Information Communications Technology firm in conjunction with the Ministry of Communications, would enable the experts to discuss frequency planning, current topical issues in radio regime, development in frequency assignment procedures and the role of the International Communications Union (ITU) in managing spectrum efficiency.

Opening the workshop, Deputy Communications Minister, Dr Benjamin Ntim noted that most developing countries had to rely on radio spectrum in order to extend affordable basic telephone services and Internet connectivity in both urban and rural areas. He spoke of the use of the spectrum in private radio and television broadcasting, mobile telecommunications, Internet services, voice data and relay satellite systems.

Dr Ntim observed that it was necessary to expand research efforts to develop the technology to deal with the problems of spectrum congestion and pollution as the uses of the resource increased. He called for more wireless broadband technologies, saying they should be the most attractive solution in developing countries that did not have an extensive or well-established fixed line infrastructure. The Deputy Minister further underlined the need for the proper management of spectrum, and also to continue studies in spectrum management, which the Ghana Frequency Board started a decade ago in the West Africa Sub-Region to its fruitful conclusion.

Major John Tandoh (rtd.), Acting Director-General of the National Communications Authority, who chaired the opening ceremony, said it was imperative to protect the spectrum from misuse and unauthorised use contrary to local and international regulations.

Dr Shola Taylor, Chief Executive of Kemilinks International, who is also the Chairman of ITU Radio Regulations Board, said African leaders needed to understand spectrum management and to make a political commitment to spectrum expansion to ensure clear telephone, radio and television signals.

He underscored the importance of recruiting excellent personnel in the telecommunication industry and constant retraining. He announced that Ghana would host an African Regional Conference on Radio from October 10 to October 14 to discuss technical planning of the conversion of analogue terrestrial radio and television transmission into digital audio and video broadcasting. 04 Oct. 05

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