14 & 15 September 2020, Mauritius

  • #SubSaharaSpectrum

5th Mena Spectrum Management Conference

Event Overview

Organised by Forum Global, the 5th Sub-Sahara Spectrum Management Conference will take place in Mauritius on September 14 – 15.

The conference shall run alongside two key meetings taking place as part of the Policy and Regulation Initiative for Digital Africa (PRIDA) programme from September 16 – 18. More information on these events will follow shortly.

The Conference will provide a meeting point for spectrum stakeholders to come together and discuss topical issues relating to the management and coordination of spectrum policy across the region.

Sessions will include a focus on: Next steps following WRC-19 – implementation and looking ahead to WRC-23; Priorities for regulators in bringing spectrum to market; Driving Digital Inclusion – funding and technology options; Maximising the potential of the UHF band for all users; Roadmaps for 5G implementation across Sub-Saharan Africa; A focus on key mid-band frequencies – C-Band, 6GHz, 2.6GHz and more.

This event is free to attend for all delegates and registration is now open! 

The conference is part of The Global Spectrum Series.  The world’s largest collection of regional spectrum policy conferences.


Organisers & Partners

Event Organiser
Forum Global
Forum Global specializes in policy focused conferences and events, providing a platform for discussion and debate on topical issues across a variety of different sectors. These events are organized with clients and partners and aim to progress ideas and actions on important issues, all within a balanced and neutral setting.Forum Global is the international arm of Forum Europe, which was founded by Giles Merritt, columnist for the International Herald Tribune, and is widely recognized as the leading EU dedicated event provider.Headed by a team of events specialists with over 19 years of experience, Forum Global works successfully with businesses, institutions and governments alike. Its strategic services can maintain and develop your key policy networks, and also deliver forums where key issues can be aired and debated.
Diamond Host
Ericsson is a world-leading provider of telecommunications equipment and related services to mobile and fixed network operators globally. Over 1,000 networks in more than 180 countries utilize our network equipment and 40 percent of all mobile calls are made through our systems. We are one of the few companies worldwide that can offer end-to-end solutions for all major mobile communication standards. Communication is changing the way we live and work. Ericsson plays a key role in this evolution, using innovation to empower people, business and society. We provide communications networks, telecom services and multimedia solutions, making it easier for people all over the globe to communicate.
Diamond Host
Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider. Through our dedication to customer-centric innovation and strong partnerships, we have established end-to-end advantages in telecom networks, devices and cloud computing. We are committed to creating maximum value for telecom operators, enterprises and consumers by providing competitive solutions and services. Our products and solutions have been deployed in over 140 countries, serving more than one third of the world’s population.
Platinum Sponsor
Coleago Consulting
Coleago profile for conference website Founded in 2001, Coleago is a specialist telecoms management consulting firm. Our expertise has been developed exclusively within the telecoms sector and delivers a rare combination of telecoms-related commercial and technical skills and experience. Since 2001 we have worked on over 110 spectrum related projects in developed and emerging markets. Since 2017 our spectrum projects included the transition to 5G, including valuating spectrum most relevant for 5G such as 600MHz, 700MHz, 3.5GHz, and mm wave. We advise regulators on spectrum policy, spectrum roadmap, spectrum pricing, spectrum auctions and capacity building on the topic best practice in spectrum auctions. For mobile operators Coleago delivers regulatory advocacy and responses to consultation, spectrum valuation, bid strategy development and live auction support. Coleago also authored complete bid books for spectrum licence awards by means of a beauty contest. For further information, please visit www.coleago.com
Platinum Sponsor
ESOA is a non-profit organisation established with the objective of serving and promoting the common interests of satellite operators from Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the CIS. The Association today represents the interests of 21 satellite operators who deliver information communication services across the globe. Together ESOA Members provide invaluable communications services to the whole world including emergency communications, live broadcasting, maritime and aero communications, secure services for governments, 24-7 monitoring of industrial processes such as energy plants and a whole range of other communications capabilities that society has come to rely on.
Platinum Sponsor
Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world's computing devices. Intel expands the boundaries of technology to make the most amazing experiences possible. Additional information about Intel is available at intel.com
Platinum Sponsor
OneWeb is building a global constellation of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites that will provide low latency, high speed broadband to even the most remote locations on Earth. Our satellites will deliver high-speed Internet to small user terminals that can be used for residential or business purposes. Terminals can be mounted on schools or buildings or on cell towers for backhaul; they can also provide full mobile connectivity for maritime, aero, or connected cars. OneWeb's mission is to connect all the unconnected schools of the world, and to fully bridge the digital divide by 2027, bringing affordable access to more than 4 billion unconnected people around the world. OneWeb already has over USD1billion from investors such as Grupo Salinas, SoftBank, Hughes, Coca Cola, Intelsat and Virgin. We expect to launch our first satellites in the near future; to begin customer trials in 2019; and to have full global coverage by 2023
Event Partner
GSA (the Global mobile Suppliers Association) is a not-for-profit industry organisation representing companies across the worldwide mobile ecosystem engaged in the supply of infrastructure, semiconductors, test equipment, devices, applications and mobile support services. GSA actively promotes the 3GPP technology road-map – 3G; 4G; 5G, – and is a single source of information resource for industry reports and market intelligence. GSA Members drive the GSA agenda and define the communications and development strategy for the Association. The GSA Spectrum Group develops strategies and plans, and contributes studies and technical analysis to international, regional and individual country policy-makers and regulators to facilitate the timely availability of spectrum for use by mobile network operators.
Event Partner
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with more than 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai and the Mobile 360 Series conferences.
Event Partner
GVF is the only global non-profit association of the satellite industry. Founded in 1997 and headquartered in London, it brings together organizations from around the world representing the satellite ecosystem that are engaged in the development and delivery of satellite technologies and services for consumers, commercial and government organizations worldwide. GVF’s aim is to facilitate expanded access to satellite-based connectivity solutions globally, which is achieved through regulatory, policy and spectrum advocacy; training and certification; product quality assurance; and collaboration with user groups and other satellite stakeholders.

Previous speakers include:

Andrew Rugege

Andrew Rugege

Regional Director for Africa, ITU

Elizabeth M

Elizabeth Migwalla

Senior Director of Government Affairs, Africa, Qualcomm

Ben Ba

Ben Ba

Head of Terrestrial Publication & Registration Division, Radiocommunication Bureau , ITU


Kezias Mwale

Radiocommunications Coordinator, ATU


Day 1
Day 2
08:30 - 09:00
Morning Coffee and Registration
09:00 - 10:00
Session 1: Conference opening and keynote presentations
Session 1: Conference opening and keynote presentations image
Moderator: Johan Adjovi, Principal, Analysys Mason
Session 1: Conference opening and keynote presentations image
Tariq Al Awadhi, Chairman, ASMG
Session 1: Conference opening and keynote presentations image
Mario Maniewicz, Director, Radiocommunication Bureau, ITU
10:00 - 10:45
Session 2: The evolving shape of global spectrum policy thinking

The emergence of 5G, IoT and future connected technologies means that all over the world, the digital landscape is evolving quicker than we have ever seen before. Underpinning all this exciting development however is spectrum – the fuel for connectivity. The challenge for spectrum managers is to ensure that a strategy is in place to keep up with this fast evolving environment, and to ensure that the required spectrum is made available in a timely fashion, and that it is allocated and utilised in the most efficient way possible. This session will set the scene by looking at how spectrum and regulatory frameworks both in the MENA region and around the world are developing in preparation for the networked societies of today and tomorrow.


  • How are regulators around the world preparing for 5G and the future networked society, and how are regulatory frameworks evolving?
  • To what extent may the decisions at WRC-19 affect regional spectrum strategies going forward?
  • What work is being done to co-ordinate spectrum policy on a global level both as part of ITU process and also outside this?
  • How do strategies and new emerging telecoms regulatory framework in the MENA compare to those that are seen elsewhere in the world?
10:45 - 11:05
Morning Coffee
11:05 - 12:30
Session 3: Bringing the required spectrum to market – best practice in pricing, licencing and delivering spectrum ‘value’

One of the biggest ongoing challenges for regulators in the MENA region and elsewhere in the world is to design a process for assigning spectrum licences that ensures an efficient allocation of the available bandwidth at a fair price; and ultimately delivers a competitive market and encourages innovation. This session will look at the approaches taken by regulators in the MENA region to awards spectrum, and to set prices and licence conditions. It will look at examples of best practice in all these areas, and discuss the best way forward for regulators to ensure that the available spectrum is brought to market as quickly, efficiently and as fairly as possible.


  • What awards have been seen in the MENA region over the past 12 months, and which countries will be allocating bands in the near future?
  • What methods have been seen and how has this impacted outcomes?
  • What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of auctions, beauty contests and direct awards, and under what circumstances should each be considered the best option?
  • In which circumstances may each of these be appropriate and how important is it that regulators consider national differences and the specific situation in their own country when both setting a method for allocation and designing the award process?
  • For regulators who are expected to realize reasonable revenues, what is the appropriate approach for setting reserve prices?
  • What role do licence conditions and award rules play in determining spectrum prices?
  • What role do spectrum prices play in influencing the level of investment and incentives to compete in next generation mobile services?
12:30 - 13:30
13:30 - 13:50
Presentation: Setting the scene: Meeting spectrum requirements for 5G
13:50 - 15:05
Session 4: Meeting future connectivity requirements in the low and mid range frequencies (below 6Ghz)

Spectrum below 6GHz has always formed the back-bone of spectrum portfolios for mobile operators and other connectivity providers. And today, whilst the emergence of new bands in the mmWave frequencies can help to deliver some of the high capacity coverage required for 5G, access to sufficient spectrum in these ‘traditional’ bands is still as important as ever in order to deliver widespread coverage and support all use cases. This session will look at some of the key bands and emerging bandplans in both the low (under 1GHz) and mid (1Ghz – 6Ghz) ranges. It will look at the future shape of bands, and how the emergence of 5G may affect the ways in which they are allocated and awarded, and crucially explore the at the best approaches to ensure that the needs of all users can be met.


  • What is the optimal mix of low and mid range spectrum that operators need to deploy traditional base stations?
  • Where are we across the region with the allocation of the digital dividend spectrum? For those countries in which the process is still ongoing, should the 700MHz and 800MHz bands be considered together or is a better approach to take them separately?
  • Is there need for additional low-range spectrum to be made available for mobile broadband beyond the 700MHz and 800MHz bands (for example 600MHz band), or can these provide sufficient bandwidth?
  • Which bands in the 1Ghz – 6Ghz range offer realistic options to help meet these requirements in countries across the Arab region?
  • To what extent can bands such as the 3.4Ghz – 3.8Ghz ‘C-Band’, 2.3GHz and 2.6Ghz bands provide an option?
  • As we enter the era of 5G, is there any benefit in moving from a paired to an unpaired band plan in any bands (for example 2.6GHz), and what would be the practical and technical considerations associated with this change in approach?
  • What measures are required to protect and preserve satellite, PPDR and other key users in low and mid-range bands, and how can it be ensured that the needs of all users are balanced?
15:05 - 15:30
Afternoon Coffee
15:30 - 16:45
Session 5: Maximising the potential of high frequency spectrum – Mapping the shape of the future mmWave ecosystem

The mmWave frequencies are seen as providing some of the most important spectrum for 5G, and particularly for delivering the high capacity coverage that is required in urban areas. This session will look in more detail at the critical importance of mmWave spectrum for 5G in both the short term and the long term, and at the options that regulators have to provide the spectrum that is required. It will look at what needs to be done to balance the needs of both existing and new users in these frequencies, and assess the optimal timing of award for different bands to help deliver the full benefits of 5G.


  • Why is mmWave spectrum so important for 5G, and what impact can it have if harnesses correctly?
  • What impact will the outcomes of WRC-19 and decisions made on candidate bands for WRC-23 have on the future mmWave landscape in MENA and around the world?
  • What are likely to be the most important mmWave bands for 5G in the short term and in the long term?
  • Which bands should be prioritised for release across the region – 26GHz, 39GHz, 66GHz or others?
  • What is the best timing for release and how can it be ensured that sufficient spectrum is made available in a timely manner and efficiently as possible?
  • How can the needs of mobile and satellite services in the mmWave bands best be met, and to what extent is co-existence a viable option?
  • Where are we in terms of the adoption and installation of the massive MIMO technologies that will be crucial for commercial roll-out of 5G in the mmWave frequencies, and how is this likely to affect the requirements for mmWave spectrum in the short term?
09:20 - 13:00
Session 6: IoT – Going beyond the buzzword

IoT as a concept is something that now is not new. The potential that IoT and M2M connectivity offer in enabling smart and sustainable urban environments, and revolutionizing the way in which businesses and consumers function everywhere has been discussed extensively. But this potential will only be realised if sufficient spectrum is available to power the huge number of use cases that are emerging. Focussing on the opportunities that IoT offers business and industries (through industrial IoT) and consumers (through the emergence of smart cities), this session will look at what needs to be done to deliver this connectivity, and unpack the opportunities behind the buzzword.

09:20 - 11:00
Session 6i: Meeting the future connectivity requirements of vertical industries

From smart manufacturing to connected cars; utilities and smart grids to ports and shipping containers, vertical industries everywhere are starting to realise the potential of IoT and the new connected digital society. The challenge for regulators is to develop a spectrum regime that meets the (sometimes complex) requirements of all these cases, and of all existing and new users. This session will look at the extent to which current 4G licencing models will still be valid in a 5G world, or whether different approaches to licencing and assignment may be necessary. Exploring the requirements that are likely to be seen and some of the models that are being put forward to meet these, it will examine the different technologies and solutions that are being put forward to provide the connectivity to ensure that vertical industries across the MENA region are truly able to harness the power of IoT.


  • What new and emerging use cases are going to be enabled by 5G and IoT, and what spectrum requirements are likely to be seen?
  • What frequencies and solutions provide the best options to power the next generation of IoT connectivity across different vertical industries and ensure that the MENA region continues to lead the way in this key area?
  • What mix of licenced, unlicensed and shared spectrum will be required?
  • Can a similar licensing model as has been used for 4G still be relevant in the emerging 5G world, or is there a need for a rethink?
  • Can traditional mobile operators provide all the connectivity requirements for 5G and IoT or is there an argument to allow industry stakeholders to build/own/operate their own locally self-controlled wireless networks?
11:00 - 11:20
Morning Coffee
11:20 - 13:00
Session 6ii: Connecting the smart cities of the future – delivering the required densification and indoor connectivity

IoT is the key technology behind any smart city initiative. From improving pollution levels to delivering smarter traffic systems or more efficient ways to light and hear buildings – all of these require thousands of physical devices to be connected to the IoT network, and a system that provides extremely high capacity and per-user data rates. Achieving the required densification of networks that is necessary to deliver this is a key challenge for regulators and technology providers alike. And with approximately 70% of 5G use cases expected to occur indoors, connectivity providers & tower companies also need to ensure that a network is in place that delivers these capabilities in an indoor environment. Focussing on these challenges and more, this session will look at best-practice in delivering the urban 5G and IoT eco-system.


  • What are the major design challenges that are faced when building a 5G network in urban areas and how can these be overcome?
  • What will be the best way to deliver the densification of networks that will be necessary to provide the required network connectivity in urban areas and inside large buildings?
  • How important will Small Cells be in providing this densification and what other technologies and bandwidths will also play a part?
  • With an estimated 70% of all mobile usage happening indoors, how can it be ensured that the required connectivity is delivered inside building as well as on the streets in urban areas?
  • What network architecture can be used to meet the requirements and what challenges will the transition to this likely raise and how can it be ensured that the 5G indoor user experience is consistent with that received outdoors?
13:00 - 14:00
14:00 - 16:00
Session 7: Where next? Next steps and key priorities following WRC

WRC-19 took place in Egypt at the end of 2019, with a number of key decisions taken with the aim of delivering a global harmonised plan for the delivery of the required spectrum for fixed, mobile, satellite and broadcasting industries. And then immediately following the conclusion of the conference, the first preparation meeting for WRC-23 was held, which identified the key candidate bands to be considered in 2023 for the next wave of 5G frequencies. Sessions at this conference have already touched on some of the outcomes and key talking points from Sharm-el-Sheik. This highly interactive session will now bring things together by offering an opportunity to look at what these outcomes mean for key stakeholders, and for the overall connectivity landscape. It will hear from representatives from different industry stakeholder groups on what they now see as their main priorities, opportunities and challenges; and look ahead at the next steps and timetable ahead as the build up to WRC-23 already begins.


  • Following the outcomes of WRC-19, what are now the key priorities, opportunities and challenges for different stakeholder groups?
  • What impact are the decisions that have been taken likely to have on the future shape of 5G connectivity in the low, mid and high frequency bands?
  • As we already start the preparation for WRC-23, what are set to be the most important (and most contentious) issues for MENA stakeholders over the next few years?
  • Will we still be talking about ‘spectrum for 5G’ when we reach 2023, or will the focus have switched to B5G or 6G?
Select date to see events.

Event Background

Since its launch in 2015, the Sub Sahara Spectrum Management is now taking place for its fifth time; and has now established a reputation as the leading platform for spectrum policy discussion in the region. With over 300 attendees from up to 50 different countries attending the 2019 edition of this conference.

Event partners ITU, ATU and Forum Global work with national Governments and regulators and industry stakeholders from mobile, satellite, broadcast, public safety, high altitude platforms and more to ensure that their voices are heard.

Previous Event

Taking place in Gaborone, Botswana, in May of 2019, The 4th Sub-Sahara Spectrum Management Conference welcomed over 300 delegates from across the region & beyond, for high-level discussions on preparation for WRC-19, Smart Cities, 5G rollout in Africa, connectivity requirements in the region, PPDR Networks, and much more.

You can view more details of the 2019 edition of this event here.

spectrum series banner



Venue to be announced soon.
Please check back regularly for updates.


For more information on any aspect of this event, please contact James Curtin using any of the details below.

James Curtin
Event Manager
Forum Europe


Tel: +44 (0) 2920 783 020