Strathmore launches new masters programme in spectrum management


Spectrum Management sector major players from the Ministry of ICT, Communications Authority of Kenya, African Advanced Level Telecommunications Institute (AFRALTI), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) gathered at Strathmore University for the launch of a Masters in Spectrum Management under the School of Computing and Engineering Sciences. The programme, which has been developed over the last 10 years in partnership with ITU, is set to welcome its first cohort in September 2023.

Speaking at the launch, key guest, Eng. Leo Boruett, Communications Authority of Kenya, said “Strathmore University has been at the forefront of research in the area of Spectrum Management. This program will respond to the challenge of embedding the principles in younger professionals as opposed to having them learn on the job like so many experts in the field have had to do. Our role is to make the environment suitable for innovation through experimentation with mitigated risk”.

Vice Chancellor of Strathmore University, Dr. Vincent Ogutu said, “We do have connectivity all over Kenya, but it is not seamless and that’s where understanding Spectrum Management can improve things. There are so many applications, so much that we can get from connectivity through the innovation that a programme like this provides the platform for. The only way to innovate is to be given the freedom to explore what else we can do in Spectrum Management. This is why SU is excited about this Programme.”

In 2022, a Gap Analysis Study done by Strathmore University in collaboration with the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA) under the Digital Access Program (DAP) sponsored by the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) addressed the existing gaps in spectrum sharing in Kenya and gave recommendations on how the Communications Authority (CA) can enable the use of unutilized Radio Frequency (RF) spectrum to deliver broadband connectivity to communities that currently have poor Internet connectivity.

Spectrum is the lifeblood of all the communication services we use on a day-to-day basis, from TV broadcasting to radio FM signals that reach us through our televisions and radios, from mobile communications on voice (2G) to mobile Internet access (through 3G, 4G and now 5G and 6G) as well as the lucrative access we appreciate both at work and at home through Wi-Fi. It is hard to talk about digital innovation or digital transformation without a discussion on spectrum (or wireless communication). A finite resource, the radio spectrum, must be shared by a variety of services, technologies, users, and nations. Therefore, managing the resource and maximizing its usage is the responsibility of regulatory agencies.

“What is important for us to reflect on is that this resource is finite but the demand is continuing to grow. We cannot deny the reality that sectors are forced to share bands within the spectrum which can cause conflict. Spectrum Management becomes more important to ensure that everyone benefits from this resource,” Halima Letamo, Senior Digital Skills Development Officer, ITU, remarked.

Additionally, Eng. Daniel Obam – Chairman, the Radiocommunication Advisory Group (RAG) at ITU said, “As we have more infrastructure coming up, we need to have more experts to play a role in trying to connect people as we grow our economy. This course will help us to develop the next generation of spectrum experts to provide the necessary tech advice to regulatory bodies.”

Strathmore University will be the second university worldwide, after the University of British Columbia in Canada, to offer a Masters degree in Spectrum Management. It will go a long way in training professionals in Africa and worldwide.

The programme is now accepting applications. For more information, click here.


This article was written by Celia Kinuthia.

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