Idle frequency spectrum to be taken back from telcos, broadcasters by Kenyan regulator

by | Jan 24, 2020

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), recently released new guidelines on its “use it or lose it” policy to curb the practice of hoarding frequency spectrum assets by telcos and broadcasting companies.

CA said in a notice that the guidelines are targeted at establishing “efficient and effective management of radio frequency spectrum that will contribute to national development, socio-economic growth, employment and public welfare.”

With this new directive, broadcasters and telecommunications operators in the East African country are at risk of losing their designated frequency spectrum if not effectively used.

Motivated by the need to curb the emerging speculative black market that has sprung up due to companies leaving their spectrums unused, the new guideline reportedly gives the CA the authority to retrieve idle spectrum from companies in violation of the policy.

“The Communications Authority will repossess any spectrum that has not been put into use following expiry of the period stipulated for the licensee,” said the CA in a recent statement.

The regulator also added that the new directive would be implemented according to stipulated conditions of frequency assignments.

Withdrawing idle frequencies would be expected to facilitate the registration of more legitimate players in the communications sector, spur competition and discourage black market players in Kenya.

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