The Spectral opportunity of TV white spaces for dynamic spectrum access implementation
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The emergence of novel spectrum innovation techniques to help manage scarce spectral resources while ensuring last mile connectivity has become a prevalent theme globally that regulators are gradually adopting to cater for the unique features of emerging wireless networks in order to guarantee sustainable spectrum use. One of these techniques is Dynamic Spectrum Access, a new spectrum sharing paradigm that allows secondary users to access the abundant spectrum holes in the licensed spectrum bands. A major candidate of these holes is Television (TV) White Spaces. TV White Space refers to the frequencies made available for unlicensed use at locations where the spectrum is not being used by licensed services such as television broadcasting to deliver widespread broadband Internet. While regulators in the US and UK have already passed regulations for implementing TV White Spaces while ensuring TV broadcast services are not interfered with, the Kenyan landscape is approaching a formal round of trials to drive this adoption. This paper explores the incumbent status in regards to TV White Spaces in Kenya, the existing regulatory framework on spectrum use, the trials that have been carried out as well as the ongoing ones to spur this adoption. It also elucidates what the regulatory framework can look like in comparison with the frameworks in the US and UK.