As part of enhancing the capacity to achieve its mandate with respect to radio frequency spectrum management, the Communications Authority of Kenya successfully upgraded its facilities for the management of Radio Frequency Spectrum.
The last decade has seen rapid changes in the radio communications sector notably; the exponential development and deployment of wideband broadband mobile networks (from 2G, to 3G and now 4G and moving towards 5G networks), transition from analogue to digital TV coupled with consumer trend of increased access to internet services and applications through use of mobile wireless devices. This has resulted in increased demand on radio spectrum hence the need to manage these through efficient planning, licensing and monitoring of the country’s frequency spectrum resource.
The new system has the capacity to perform the administrative and technical functions of spectrum management such as radio frequency planning, technical analysis, coordination, applications, frequency allocation, frequency assignment, frequency licensing and invoicing. In addition, the system can effectively monitor the electromagnetic spectrum, measure of radio station’s technical and operational characteristics, determine spectrum usage, verify compliance to license conditions, and locate sources of radio signals in order to mitigate possibilities of harmful interference in radio communication services such as broadcast radio, TV and wireless technologies.
The stations are capable of monitoring frequencies in the VHF and UHF (20 MHz to 3 GHz), and HF frequency range (9 kHz to 30MHz).
Fixed Monitoring Station Directional Antennas
In order to enhance coverage area of the fixed stations, the Authority acquired mobile monitoring stations capable of carrying out the Spectrum Monitoring and Direction Finding for frequencies in the range 20 MHz to 6 GHz, with telescopic mast to raise the monitoring antenna height in order to improve detection of weak radio signals.
Mobile Monitoring Station
All the Stations are integrated and can be remotely operated from the Authority’s Control Centre and therefore provides the Authority with tools to adequately address the developments in the radio communications sector and is expected to enable the Authority to improve on service delivery to the stakeholders with respect to faster issuance of radio licenses, and quicker resolution of cases of harmful interference to radio communication services.
Titus K. Cheptoo is the Manager, Frequency Monitoring, and Inspections at Communications Authority of Kenya. He holds a BSc. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and MSc.in Operational Communications and is registered as graduate engineer with IEK and EBK