The Potential of TVWS Technology in the Provision of Broadband Internet in Kenya

  • E. W. Mureu Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, JKUAT
  • P. K. Kihato Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, JKUAT
  • P. K. Langat Department of Telecommunication and Information Engineering, JKUAT

Abstract

In Kenya, the data/internet market has maintained an upward trend following increased demand for Internet services and reduced cost of Internet enabled devices. Kenya has a population of about 43 million people, and by the end of last quarter of 2015, there were 31.9 million data/internet users but only 19.9 percent of thesehad access to broadband internet, marking a penetration level of 14.8 percent. Mobile data/internet subscriptions contributed 99 per cent of the total Internet subscriptions. The term broadband refers to highspeed internet access that is always on and faster than the traditional dial-up access. The main reason for this low penetration of broadband internet is due to the fact that about 67.6 % of Kenyans live in rural areas where most of the current broadband internet service providers have not penetrated due to the low returns on investment considerations. The purpose of this paper is to assess the availability of the Television whitespace (TVWS) spectrum in Kenya which subsequently can be used to provide affordable broadband internet using the TVWS technology to people in areas that would not otherwise be cost effectively served by other technologies. This will be done by carrying out spectrum utilization measurements in some selected areas in Kenya to identify the amount of TV white spacespectrum available. The Television White Spaces are frequencies made available for unlicensed use at locations where the spectrum is not being used by licensed services, such as television broadcasting. This spectrum is located in the very high frequency (VHF) and ultra high frequency (UHF) bands. These frequency bands have goodpropagation and obstacle penetration characteristics. These characteristics make TV white space technology eminently suitable for use in rural areas which are normally vast , scarcely populated and may involve challenging terrain such as hills, foliage, and water. The other reasons that make this technology very attractive are thelow costs for building TVWS base stations and the possibility of the TVWS spectrum being offered on license-exempt basis.
Published
Jul 27, 2016
How to Cite
MUREU, E. W.; KIHATO, P. K.; LANGAT, P. K.. The Potential of TVWS Technology in the Provision of Broadband Internet in Kenya. Proceedings of Sustainable Research and Innovation Conference, [S.l.], p. 318-322, july 2016. ISSN 2079-6226. Available at: <http://sri.jkuat.ac.ke/ojs/index.php/proceedings/article/view/461>. Date accessed: 24 sep. 2017.

Keywords

Broadband Internet; TVWS; UHF; VHF