The South African Wireless Access Providers’ Association (WAPA) said that a large portion of Internet traffic is carried by wireless networks, which makes wireless service providers an important part of South Africa’s telecommunications landscape.
“Wi-Fi will soon surpass wired traffic. This is good news for South Africa, where much of the landscape is currently not serviced by large telecommunications operators and fixed line service providers,” said WAPA Chairperson, Christopher Geerdts.
WAPA represents 136 members, essentially “wireless pioneers”, which move bytes across often difficult and unfamiliar terrain. WAPA’s membership is up 18% year-on-year.
“WAPA members are geographically dispersed and offer personalised solutions to those in need. They collectively have national reach, strong local relationships and excellent technical skills,” said Geerdts.
Give us more spectrum
WAPA is currently lobbying for the release of spectrum in the Television White Spaces frequency band for open use by wireless service providers.
Currently, independent wireless operators have to provide access on shared spectrum in the 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz frequency bands, which are license-exempt and unmanaged.
“The potential for broadband transformation in South Africa is enormous if we had access to spectrum,” says Geerdts.
“If we had access to more spectrum, we would manage it differently. We would collaborate to build infrastructure. Supporting WAPA members and freeing up unused spectrum will give a major boost to broadband penetration, the pricing, and quality of these services,” said Geerdts.