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UCC, Korean firm sign deal to harness radio spectrum management as Uganda becomes first African country to benefit in programme

Eng. Godfrey Mutabazi, the UCC executive director and Ms. Youngmi Lee, the General Director of Central Radio Management Services (CRMS) signed for the Korean Radio Spectrum Management System at signing in Bugolobi on Tuesday (Photo By Javira Ssebwami)

BUGOLOBI – As part of a move to allocate and manage radio spectrum in Uganda, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), the broadcast sector regulator with a Radio Management Service of the Republic of Korea to eliminate unauthorized and improper use of radio spectrum.

Mr. Godfrey Mutabazi the UCC Executive Director signed on behalf of Uganda while Ms. Youngmi Lee, the General Director of Central Radio Management Services (CRMS) signed for the Korean Radio Spectrum Management System

The agreement saw the Korean Republic through CRMS donate a multi-billion shillings Radio spectrum management system that will be used by UCC to monitor FM radios and airline communications in Uganda.

The new machines installed in the regions Masindi and Mbale will according to officials allow UCC to monitor and regulate radio frequencies, programming and licensing regulations for radios and bridge the monitoring gaps in addition to others installed in Masaka, Gulu, and Mbarara among others regions.

UCC Technical team demonstrate how the equipment are used to monitor and regulate the radio spectrum in Masindi and Mbale  (Photo By Javira Ssebwami.

Uganda is experiencing a growing number of spectrum-dependent use cases in health, urban planning, education, agriculture among others and the cooperation with Korea to install a Korean Radio Management System will boost current capacities in spectrum management, officials believe.

“The cooperation and partnership between Korea and Uganda in the field of ICT is important to address the questions around efficiency and optimisation of finite spectrum resources if we are to harness the benefits to the ongoing technology revolution,” explained Mr. Mutabazi.

He noted that the donation was timely and in line with UCC’s mission to allocate, license, standardize and manage the use of radio frequency spectrum resources in a manner that ensures the widest variety of programming and optimal utilization of spectrum resources.

Ms Young who spoke through a translator said the partnership is a stepping ground for the two countries to improve their relations.

“Since this partnership was initiated, we have been doing technical training for the UCC officials on how to use the system. We hope this system will help UCC to improve its efficiency and service delivery,” she said.

PML Daily has also learnt that Uganda is the first African country to benefit from the CRMS program.

CRMS and UCC undertook a partnership in March 2018 to enhance the commission’s capacity to manage radio spectrum in the country and this was a follow-up on the fulfillment of the obligations by both parties agreed upon during the earlier engagement.

What MoU means to communications, broadcast sector

Mutabazi further noted boosting UCC’s spectrum management capacity with the spectrum equipment is critical in 4th Industrial Revolution as “we begin the talk about the Internet of Things, Machine to Machine communication and Artificial Intelligence. There is a growing over-dependence on cellular and spectrum-dependent communications”

Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo, the Director of Engineering, Communication, and Infrastructure Department at UCC is opportunistic that with this equipment in place, compliance levels will improve.

She says because now the operators understand that UCC has the tools to monitor their operations with the new equipment at all levels, they now comply  and adhere to all broadcasting standards.

She exclusively explained to PML Daily that spectrum management involves the combination of administrative, scientific and technical processes and procedures necessary to ensure efficient operation of radio communication equipment and services without causing interference to other broadcasters.

She said the new equipment is important in monitoring and compliance assurance of radio spectrum users.

Mr Mutabazi said Masindi was important to be covered given the upcoming oil mining while Mbale was targeted for being the place that handles Uganda’s exports and imports.

 

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