"This project aims to investigate how the use of dynamic spectrum access (DSA) management and geo-location database technology, combined with software defined radio (SDR) implementations may be used to enable effective and efficient wireless networks to be built at scale in developing countries in order to support affordable Internet access using the shared spectrum resource. The project will seek to evolve DSA methods and techniques to generally improve this type of spectrum sharing service, and hence these improvements in the UK, will be fully shared and supported by our international ODA partners. The project will be led by the University of Strathclyde's Centre for White Space Communications (CWSC), working with international ODA university partners in Kenya, Zambia, Ghana & Malawi (further engaging with partners in their countries - both industry and regulators). There will also be support and input from a number of key industry partners including dynamic spectrum access database and cloud services partners: Nominet and Microsoft, production white space/DSP radio vendors, Adaptrum and 6Harmonics; UK SME internet service providers (ISPs) partners Cloudnet and Broadway Partners; and communication/ SDR software support from MathWorks, and FPGA hardware vendors Xilinx. All of the relationships and partners in this proposal are already pre-existing, trusted and in some cases very long term relationships, including previous and active Strathclyde links to partners in all four African countries. Figure 1 below illustrates the partners in this project.
CWSC and its collaborating partners have considerable expertise and experience in DSA management, and were instrumental in helping Ofcom as it progressed towards putting regulations in place for dynamic use of White Space spectrum in the TV band - regulations which went 'live' on 31st December 2015. The project will build upon previous work that has taken place in the four overseas countries, and will ultimately lead to benefits in the form of improved routes towards digital inclusion in those countries, and we anticipate followed later by 'ripple effect' to neighbouring or regional countries."