Title image

Event Overview

The Sub Sahara Spectrum Management Conference will take place virtually from July 20 – 22. 

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

Attendees will have the opportunity to get involved and engage through interactive sessions, one-to-one and group networking, technology demonstrations, a virtual exhibition area and much, much more…

Don’t miss the opportunity to join the debate at the leading meeting point for Spectrum policy discussions in the Sub Sahara region – registration is now open, and FREE OF CHARGE for all attendees.

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

Key Themes

Network WHITE

Making Spectrum work for Africa – Tackling the global and regional digital divides and bringing the required spectrum to market.

waves white

Building up to WRC-23: A focus on key bands and issues – The UHF band, the emerging shape of the 3.3-4.2GHz C-Band and the future of the 6GHz band.


Looking Ahead – The path towards 5G and harnessing emerging technologies to build Africa’s digital future.

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.
Supported by
African Telecommunications Union (ATU)
Founded in 1977 as a specialized institution of the Organization of African Unity, now African Union, in the field of telecommunications, the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) took its present name in 1999 from the then Pan-African Telecommunications Union (PATU). This led to the transformation of the agency into a partnership between public and private stakeholders in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector.ATU provides a forum for stakeholders involved in ICT to formulate effective policies and strategies aimed at improving access to information infrastructure and services. In addition, the Union represents the interests of its members at global decision-making conferences and promotes initiatives aimed at integrating regional markets, attracting investment into ICT infrastructure, and building institutional and human capacity. The mission of ATU is to promote the rapid development of the ICTs in Africa in order to achieve universal service and access to broadband.ATU has a vision for an engaged, stable and credible institution that facilitates Africa’s participation in the global information society thereby fostering development in Africa
Event Partner
Broadcast Networks Europe is dedicated to maintaining an efficient and fair regulatory and operational environment for Terrestrial Broadcast Network Operators with a view to ensuring European citizens continue having universal access to a broad range of TV and radio programs and content as well as other over-the-air services.
Event Partner
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
Event Partner
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.
Event Partner
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.
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
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.
Event Partner
Event Partner
Qualcomm is the world’s leading wireless technology innovator and the driving force behind the development, launch, and expansion of 5G. When we connected the phone to the internet, the mobile revolution was born. Today, our foundational technologies enable the mobile ecosystem and are found in every 3G, 4G and 5G smartphone. We bring the benefits of mobile to new industries, including automotive, the internet of things, and computing, and are leading the way to a world where everything and everyone can communicate and interact seamlessly
Knowledge partner
Aetha Consulting provides strategic advice to the telecommunications industry and specialises in undertaking rigorous data-driven quantitative assessments to help businesses, regulators and policy makers make major strategic and regulatory decisions. We work with our clients to develop creative and sustainable solutions to the challenges facing them in a constantly changing environment. Aetha helps operators and regulators to analyse the opportunities and threats arising out of changes (whether real or proposed) in their radio spectrum holdings. Throughout the recent unprecedented growth of wireless services, Aetha's staff have been at the forefront of spectrum policy. Our consultants have assisted regulators to award spectrum and develop regulatory frameworks, including supporting the European Commission to tackle issues such as spectrum trading and the digital dividend.We also support operators to understand their spectrum needs, value spectrum and bid in auctions. Each year we support 10-15 bidders in spectrum auctions - a total of over 80 award processes between mid-2011 and 2017 across all regions of the world. Our technical knowledge, combined with our rigorous valuation modelling approach, ensures that our clients are comprehensively prepared for auctions.
Knowledge Partner
NERA Economic Consulting is a global firm of experts dedicated to applying economic, finance, and quantitative principles to complex business and legal challenges. For half a century, NERA’s economists have been creating strategies, studies, reports, expert testimony, and policy recommendations for government authorities and the world’s leading law firms and corporations. We bring academic rigor, objectivity, and real world industry experience to bear on issues arising from competition, regulation, public policy, strategy, finance, and litigation. NERA’s clients value our ability to apply and communicate state-of-the-art approaches clearly and convincingly, our commitment to deliver unbiased findings, and our reputation for quality and independence. Our clients rely on the integrity and skills of our unparalleled team of economists and other experts backed by the resources and reliability of one of the world’s largest economic consultancies. With its main office in New York City, NERA serves clients from more than 25 offices across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

Previous speakers include:

Speaker pic

Mario Maniewicz

Director BR

speaker pic

John Omo

Secretary General
African Telecommunications Union (ATU)


Andrew Rugege

Regional Director for Africa

Elizabeth 200

Elizabeth Migwalla

Senior Director of Government Affairs for MEA


Souhila Amazouz

Senior Radio Communication Officer
African Union Commission (AUC)

Bienvenu 240 new

Bienvenu Agbokponto Soglo

Government and Policy Director – Africa
Intel Corporation


Kamal Tamawa

Senior Policy Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa


Martha Suarez

Dynamic Spectrum Alliance


Mohaned Juwad

Global Spectrum & Regulatory Policy
Global Satellite Coalition

speaker pic

Richard Magkotlho

Radiocommunications Specialist

speaker pic

Daniel Obam

Communications Secretary
National Communications Secretariat, Kenya ​

speaker pic

Cesar Gutierrez Miguelez

Head of Wireless Regulatory Policy for Africa

Untitled design (64)

Austin Nwaulune

Director Spectrum Administrations
NCC, Nigeria

Shiv Bakhshi

Shiv K. Bakhshi,

Vice President, Industry Relations

speaker pic

Antony Chigaazira

Executive Secretary


All times listed below are in Central Africa Time Zone (UTC + 2)

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
10:30 - 11:15
Welcome Ceremony
11:15 - 12:45
Session 1: Setting the scene – Making spectrum work for Africa

To help set the scene for the event and help identify some concrete aims and objectives, this opening session will hear from influential policy voices on what they see as the key spectrum challenges for the region and give them an opportunity to provide messages and challenges to industry speakers and stakeholders on what they would like to see from them. There will then be a chance for industry to respond, and some concrete targets and objectives for the event will be set.

12:45 - 13:30
Session 2: Tackling global and regional digital divides – bringing the benefits of digital transformation to Africa

As we begin to cautiously emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, countries all around the world are embracing digitalisation as a key part of their recovery strategy. For Africa, this move towards a digital future arguably offers both more challenges and more opportunities than anywhere else. If communities, homes and businesses in the region are left unconnected, then the risk is an increasing digital divide with millions of Africans being left behind – accessible, secure and reliable internet is critical for all. The next 2 sessions will look in detail at some of the challenges and opportunities, and at how the required connectivity can be delivered to enable Africa to emerge from the pandemic stronger and to embrace a digital future for all.

13:30 - 14:40
Session 2i: Increasing broadband penetration – Delivering connectivity to unconnected communities and homes

The pandemic has shone a light on the importance of connectivity, and highlighted the inequalities between the digital ‘haves’ and the digital ‘have nots’ across the Sub-Sahara region. The huge increase in home-working, home-schooling and simply the need to remain connected in order to keep in touch has really brought home the huge the importance to citizens everywhere of having affordable and reliable connectivity available in their home. And as we move towards a digital recovery, this importance is only going to grow. Each community and home in the region without connectivity leads to the potential of more citizens being left behind as Africa looks to embrace digitalisation. Given the legacy challenge of very little fixed infrastructure that is seen in Africa, there is a need to be creative with solutions to deliver the broadband penetration that is required in order to tackle this challenge. This session will explore the potential offered by different technologies such as fixed wireless access, advanced satellite broadband and more, and the work that is being done across the region to deliver connectivity and enable a digital future for Africa’s citizens everywhere.


  • What can be done to tackle the two digital divides that currently exist for Africa – globally between Sub-Sahara and other regions in the world; and regionally between the digital ‘haves’ and the digital ‘have nots’ across the continent?
  • What specific challenges are faced when looking at connecting the unconnected in African countries, particularly relating to issues such as the relative shortage of fixed infrastructure, and the geographical scale of the areas that is being covered?
  • How can the legacy challenges of a lack of fixed or wired infrastructure across many areas be overcome?
  • What impact can fixed wireless access, satellite broadband and other key technologies have on connecting underserved communities and homes, and on increasing broadband penetration?
  • What network requirements are necessary, and what funding options exist to deliver the required investment to roll these out?
  • What are the spectrum requirements, and how can it be ensured that access to the necessary bandwidth is available?
  • How can it be ensured that connectivity is provided in an affordable and secure manner, and that the needs of businesses and consumers in unconnected communities are both understood and met?
  • To what extent can the goal of universal access across Africa be a reality, and what timeframe is realistic for this to be achieved?
14:45 - 15:30
Showcase Session 1
15:30 - 15:50
15:50 - 17:00
Session 2ii: Delivering the required connectivity for Africa’s vertical industries

Digitalisation brings with it both massive opportunities and massive challenges for Africa. If harnessed correctly, technology and connectivity has the potential to transform industry and traditional sectors (eg farming, agriculture and manufacturing), dramatically improving productivity and making huge strides in bridging Africa’s development gap with the rest of the world. If Africa fails to capitalise on the opportunities available however then there is a risk of falling further behind, and lowering the global competitiveness of African businesses. To deliver on the benefits and unlock the potential of technology, connectivity and broadband penetration are of course key. With huge areas of the region still not connected, this digital divide is a major challenge for technology providers and policymakers across the region. This session will look at the different technologies and options that are available to help to tackle this issue, and then look at the different models that exist to deliver the connectivity that is required to power the huge range of different vertical use cases that are being seen.


  • What technologies can play a part in delivering the required connectivity to meet the many varied use cases of vertical industries in both urban and rural environments across the region?
  • What work is being done to help facilitate the efficient deployment of the required technology infrastructure and access to broadband and what challenges still lie ahead?
  • What impact can the emergence of 5G enabled use cases have on delivering the required connectivity and how can it be ensured that 5G helps to narrow rather than widen the digital divide?
  • Is there an argument that regulators in Africa should be exploring models to allocate spectrum directly to vertical users to enable them to build their own private, localised licences?
  • What are the spectrum requirements, and how can it be ensured that access to the necessary bandwidth is available?
  • Africa has been left behinds in previous industrial revolutions. What needs to be done to ensure that this isn’t the case for the 4th industrial revolution?
10:30 - 10:50
Setting the scene – updates and key focusses of WRC-23 preparation in the region
10:50 - 12:00
Session 4: The future of the UHF band – what potential for increased collaboration and coexistence between broadcast and mobile services?

Whilst the digital switchover and clearing process in the 700MHz band continues in countries across the Sub Sahara region, WRC-23 is going to also increase attention on the 470 – 694 MHz band. Agenda item 1.5 will study the feasibility of sharing and compatibility between broadcast and mobile services in the band, as well as conducting a broader review into the spectrum use and needs of existing services across the entire 470-960 MHz range. This session will look at the future ecosystem across the whole UHF band, and with a number of new technologies and standards emerging, examine the extent to which this may increase the potential for sharing between mobile and broadcast services. It will also explore some of the positions that are starting to emerge in the sub-700MHz band across the Sub-Sahara and elsewhere in Region 1. Where does the balance lie in meeting the needs of broadcast, PMSE, IMT and other key users within the UHF band?


  • What is the current state of play with regards to digital migration and the re-assignment of the 700MHz band across the region?
  • How much UHF spectrum is required by different services (for example broadcasters, mobile, PMSE) in the medium and longer term? How can the needs of all users in the band best be balanced?
  • What work is being done ahead of WRC-23 to study options for coexistence and sharing between mobile and broadcast users in the UHF frequencies? To what extent is this a possibility?
  • What sensitivities exist in this area, and what safeguards would need to be put in place to protect vital broadcasting services?
  • What examples of increased collaboration between mobile and broadcasters are being seen and could the emergence of 5G and more advanced technologies help facilitate new business models and closer co-ordination between the sectors?
  • What work is being done to study the positions across the region in the sub-700MHz frequencies, and what is the likely long-term future there?
  • With many countries still working to complete the digital switchover in the 700MHz band, should the focus at this stage be on this task, or is there an argument to also start exploring options in the 600MHz band at the same time?
  • What impact would a further reduction of UHF band spectrum for terrestrial television broadcasting have on countries across the region, and how can the needs of broadcasters, PPDR and other key users of UHF spectrum be safeguarded?
12:00 - 12:45
Showcase Session 2
12:45 - 13:20
13:20 - 13:40
Thinking Point – Balancing the needs of 5G and other key users in upper mid-band frequencies
13:40 - 14:50
Session 5: The emerging shape of the 3.3 – 4.2 GHz C-band – how important is a harmonised approach?

The 3.4GHz – 3.6GHz portion of the C-band has been allocated to mobile on a primary basis across Africa and many other regions of the world. The future of the 3.3GHz – 3.4GHz and the 3.6GHz – 3.8 GHz portions of the band are however still hotly contested, and due to be discussed in detail at WRC-23. With C-band frequencies across the band being used as the basis for the first implementations of 5G globally, regulators and policymakers are faced with the task of delivering the required spectrum for this, whilst also safeguarding the vital needs of incumbent satellite users. This session will look at the different approaches being seen across different regions, and explore the importance of delivering a harmonised approach. Bringing the focus back to Africa, it will look at the long-term future of the band here, and the best way to balance the requirements of all key users.


  • What is the current situation regarding the award of spectrum in the 3.3GHz – 4.2GHz frequencies around the world?
  • How relevant are trends in the allocation of spectrum in the band that are being seen in different regions for decisions that are being made in Africa?
  • How important is it that a harmonised approach is taken across region 1 or even globally for economies of scale, or is it actually more important that regional differences are taken into account?
  • What are the key issues for consideration for national and regional delegations studying the both the 3.3 – 3.4GHz and the 3.6 – 3.8GHz portions of the band ahead of its discussion at WRC-23?
  • With the 3.4GHz – 3.6GHz now allocated as on a primary basis to the mobile service on a global level, to what extent is there still a need for additional bandwidth in the C-band to be allocated to the mobile service and identified for IMT to meet the growing needs for 5G?
  • What benefits would access to 80MHz of contiguous spectrum in the band provide mobile operators? Do these benefits justify the challenges that delivering chunks of spectrum in this way would bring?
  • To what extent is co-existence between mobile and satellite users in the band possible?
  • What guard bands and separation distances may be required to avoid interference with FSS earth stations, and how does this impact the economics of widescale deployment in the band by MNOs in Europe?
  • What potential is there for the allocation of spectrum in the band for private localised networks, allowing easier co-existence with satellite users?
14:50 - 15:10
15:10 - 16:20
Session 6: Exploring the future of the 6GHz band in Africa

The 6Ghz band is currently used around the world by satellite and microwave systems, but both unlicensed and licensed services are looking to get access to spectrum in the band. As an option for 5G, it is particularly attractive for countries and regions that have specific challenges in making available sufficient wideband channels in other mid-band frequencies. At WRC-19, the decision was taken to leave the lower portion of the band (5925-6425 MHz) for licence-exempt use, whilst (with the support of many countries from Africa), the upper portion of the band (6425-7125 MHz) is to be studied ahead of a possible IMT identification at WRC-23. This session will look at the next steps from here, and at the long-term future of the band.


  • Where does the balance lie between licenced and licence-exempt use of the 6Ghz spectrum?
  • To what extent is sharing between IMT and Wi-Fi users in the band a viable option in both indoor and outdoor conditions?
  • How does the specific situation with regards to WiFi and IMT development and roll-out ‘on the ground’ differ in developing regions compared to developed countries, and how can this be taken into account when considering a strategy for the 6GHz band?
  • What work needs to be done in the build up to WRC-23 to prepare for discussions that will take place there around the future of the band?
  • What is the long-term future of the band both in Africa and globally, and how can the needs of all users be best balanced?
  • How important is it that a coordinated approach to the band is found and to what extent is this a likely scenario given all the positions that are emerging?
  • How could the protection of satellite be managed in practice, taking into account RR obligations?
16:20 - 17:00
Thinking Point: Beyond IMT – A focus on other key themes for Africa at WRC-23
10:30 - 10:55
Session 7: Continuing the path towards a harmonized continental 5G strategy

At the last 3 editions of this conference, key stakeholders have gathered together for a discussion on the progress being made and the challenges ahead as we look to deliver a harmonized continental strategy to deliver the successful implementation of 5G across the region. This session will continue this discussion. It will examine the work that is being done by the African Union Commission/Africa Telecommunications Union and other stakeholders, at the progress that has been made in the last 12 months, and the challenges that still lie ahead.

12:00 - 12:45
Showcase Session 3
12:45 - 13:30
13:30 - 14:40
Session 8: What role for mmWave frequencies in Africa’s digital future?

One of the key focusses at WRC-19 was to identify spectrum for IMT in the mmWave bands, and on the back of this, the shape of the future mmWave landscape is now starting to emerge in regions around the world. The vast majority of countries across Sub-Sahara have not yet started to explore options in these frequencies, with the one exception being South Africa, who last year became one of the first ‘wave’ of counties around the world to launch a commercial 5G mmWave network. This session will look at the global outlook for mmWave spectrum, and at what this might mean for Sub-Saharan countries in the short and the longer term. It will examine the expected future demand for 5G services in these frequencies across the region, when this may start to emerge, and how this can be balanced with non-terrestrial and other key services in the bands.


  • What is the latest status regarding mmWave 5G spectrum licencing and network deployment around the world, and to what extent is an economically viable mmWave ecosystem now starting to emerge?
  • How much of a role is mmWave spectrum likely to play in Africa’s digital future, and when may demand for 5G spectrum in the band start to emerge?
  • Should regulators and Governments across the region be starting to consider building a plan for mmWave frequencies into broader roadmaps for spectrum release, and what likely timeframes are ahead?
  • Beyond the rollout of 5G services in mmWave frequencies in South Africa, what progress has been made in planning for trials and other commercial launches?
  • How may the future mmWave landscape in Africa differ to those starting to emerge elsewhere around the world?

What specific 5G use cases could mmWave frequencies offer for developing countries and what socio-economic benefits could it bring?

14:40 - 15:00
15:00 - 16:10
Session 9: The evolving shape of the spectrum landscape in Africa – bringing the required spectrum to market

A key challenge for regulators not only in Africa but also around the rest of the world, is to identify and release available spectrum bands and to bring them to market in an efficient and timely manner, and at a fair price. A number of different models and approaches are being seen across the region, and national broadband plans and roadmaps for release are emerging as regulators look to provide the regulatory certainty that mobile operators crave. This session will look at some of the different approaches and plans that are being seen, and at how these are shaping the spectrum landscape across the region. It will also look at the impact that spectrum licencing decisions can have on the rollout of networks and the delivery of connectivity to consumers, as well as the best way forward to make spectrum work for Africa.


  • Where does Africa sit in terms of amount of spectrum currently available in the market compared to other regions?
  • To what extent can the spectrum that is currently available meet growing needs in terms of coverage and capacity?
  • What different models and award techniques are being seen to allocate spectrum to the market and what examples of best-practice can be seen?
  • What pricing models are being used to value spectrum, and where does the best practice lie in ensuring fair prices in awards?
  • What national broadband plans and roadmaps for spectrum release are being seen across African nations, and what impact can regulatory certainty in this way help to encourage long-term investment?
  • Given the scarcity of spectrum as a natural resource, what mechanisms may exist for policymakers to ensure that it is not left lying fallow?
  • To what extent should countries be looking to implement a ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ policy to increase the overall efficiency of spectrum use?
  • How can countries best strike the balance between the ever-increasing spectrum needs of mobile and those of other users?
  • How can it be ensured that spectrum is available for use immediately once it has been auctioned and awarded, and how should the clearing of bands be arranged to achieve this?
16:10 - 17:00
Closing Ceremony
Select date to see events.

Event Background

Since its launch in 2015, the Sub Sahara Spectrum Management Conference has established a reputation as the leading platform for spectrum policy discussion in the region. With almost 800 attendees from up to 74 different countries attending the last edition of the event which was held virtually in September 2020.

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.

This event is taking place as part of The Global Spectrum Series. In total, more than 5000 attendees participated across the series in 2020. To see an event-by-event breakdown of attendee numbers, please click here.

2020 in Numbers

You can view more details of the 2020 edition of this event here.

SS 22 Graphic

2020 Event Photos

Event platform

This event will be taking place using Forum Europe’s virtual solution. For more details, please visit forum-europe.com.


For more information on any aspect of this event, please contact Jordan Francombe using any of the details below:

Jordan Francombe
Senior Event Manager
Forum Global


Tel: +44 (0) 2920 783 074