Dr Fisseha Mekuria


Enabling new broadband opportunities through smart spectrum sharing

Dr Fisseha Mekuria
Mekuria is a research leader in networks and media technologies at the CSIR. He has an MSc and a PhD degree from the Linköping University in Sweden. He had spent 10 years at Ericsson Mobile Communications Research and Development Lab, also in Sweden, and has registered over 15 patents in information and communications technology.

About the talk: Radio frequency spectrum is an important national resource to enable the increasing service demand from wireless devices connected to our everyday life, such as smartphones and laptops. A large proportion of the population in developing countries is still waiting for broadband Internet connectivity through wireless communication technologies.

The CSIR has developed the first national geolocation spectrum database covering all regions of South Africa. A patented system for geolocation-based dynamic spectrum allocation, this innovative tool enables spectrum sharing between white space network users (such as wireless Internet service providers) and licensed TV broadcasters, and provides spectrum regulators with a smart spectrum management tool. This has led to new broadband network technologies, which are affordable and easy to deploy in rural, underserved communities.

In his talk, Mekuria will discuss the various opportunities that open up when utilising smarter spectrum management tools. These spectrum database tools will enable effective utilisation of national spectrum resources and provide technical and regulatory mechanisms for enabling white space broadband wireless networks to dynamically access spectrum. This will accelerate the deployment and availability of affordable broadband Internet services to underserved communities. The CSIR’s work in dynamic spectrum access and future wireless networks has led to the opening of commercial opportunities for the system in other African countries. The CSIR spectrum database system is also the only African spectrum database system that is nominated to take part in the ongoing European Union Ofcom regulator global spectrum database qualification process.

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