DSA President: My First Six Months

My first six months as DSA President have flown by in a whirlwind of activity! I am pleased to share with you what have we achieved as an alliance in this time.

  • 11 regulatory responses in 6 different countries (USA, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Peru and Ethiopia)
  • 12 countries travelled to (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and USA)
  • 1 DSA Global Summit in Washington D.C.
  • 6 international workshops about spectrum sharing organized by DSA
  • 5 international multi-stakeholder events attended (WRC-19, CPM-23, PCCII-CITEL, APM-ATU and ITU workshop for Community Networks)
  • Invited speaker at 9 international spectrum management events worldwide
  • 3 feature articles
  • 1 new whitepaper
  • 6 blogs, 2 quarterly newsletters and 208 new DSA Twitter followers

Throughout my first six months as DSA President I have continued to push to achieve the DSA’s goal of fair and dynamic spectrum usage worldwide. We have been working to extend the network of the DSA further and maintain our continued appearances at events and meetings around the world. Creating a bridge between the industry and regulators worldwide, myself and the DSA have spent time strengthening relationships with the regulators globally and are excited to see where these relationships take spectrum sharing technologies in the future.

DSA Global Summit 2019

A key moment for the DSA this year was the seventh annual DSA Global Summit that took place in Washington D.C in June; this was my first summit in my role as DSA President. As with our previous summits, the event brought together spectrum industry leaders and regulators from around the world. We were honoured to welcome distinguished speakers including Mario Maniewicz (ITU Radiocommunication Bureau Director), Michael O’Rielly (FCC Commissioner) and spectrum regulators from around the world. This was a great success for the DSA as it is our strong belief that worldwide collaboration is vital for the progress towards closing the digital divide.

Global Events and Meetings

Attending events and meetings around the world is a large part of this role. I am grateful for this opportunity to meet with a range of people in the spectrum industry and hear their insights into what more can be done to find affordable connectivity solutions.

At the start of May I attended the Wi-Fi NOW USA event and the FCBA Annual Seminar where we discussed the use of dynamic spectrum management to connect the unconnected. In June I joined the panel ‘Should MVNOs have access to 5G?’ at MVNOs Latin America to discuss the recent developments in 5G in relation to MVNOs and urge the importance of spectrum sharing. Following the DSA joining the inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) in August, I attended the 34 Meeting of the Permanent Consultative Committee II (PCCII) in Ottawa, Canada and the African Preparatory Meeting (APM) for the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) of the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) in East London, South Africa.

In September I joined industry experts at the 9th Annual International Spectrum Congress in Colombia, followed by the  6th Annual Latin Americas Spectrum Management Conference in Peru and finally the 8th Annual Americas Spectrum Management Conference in Washington D.C.

The past few months have been particularly busy with a TV White Space (TVWS) workshop in Argentina in July, another workshop in Ecuador in August, the ANDICOM 2019 event in Cartagena, Colombia in September, followed by the Microsoft Airband Summit in Washington D.C. I then travelled to Mexico City to deliver another TVWS technology workshop, with more workshops in South Africa and Kenya in October. Also, in October I was honoured to be a judge for the 2019 World Communication Awards, organised by Total Telecom.

November saw me attending the largest worldwide spectrum conference, the World Radiocommunication Conference WRC-19 in Egypt, where key parameters for future communications technologies were agreed. I was happy to represent the industry, raising awareness of the importance of Wi-Fi and unlicensed wireless devices for the 5G ecosystem and advocating the importance of a license exempt approach in the whole 6 GHz band.

DSA regulatory responses

Engaging with regulators and government officials will continue to be a vital aspect of the DSA’s work; our DSA Regulatory Affairs Working Group (RAWG) has already submitted numerous comments to develop the DSA’s positions on critical issues worldwide. Some recent submissions in the USA have concentrated on the partitioning disaggregation and leasing of spectrum, TVWS, Australia’s National Broadband Network rollouts and the C-Band. We have also recently submitted filings in Canada, Argentina, Mexico, Peru and Ethiopia promoting different spectrum sharing schemes and the important trade-off between licensed and unlicensed spectrum for both broadband coverage and capacity.

Following many years of advocacy by the DSA in these areas, we have been very pleased to see FCC Chairman Pai’s recent announcements regarding the developments in the C-band and the 5.9 GHz band. It is wonderful to see the changes that we encourage being implemented and I am very keen to see how these matters progress throughout 2020.

New Partnerships

The DSA has done extensive work to broaden our alliance and network with organizations and experts from across the globe. We recently held a TVWS workshop in Buenos Aires in August, co-organised by the DSA and the Secretary of Information and Communication Technologies (SeTIC). Following the workshop, the DSA and the Argentinian Government Secretariat of Modernization signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) promoting the study of dynamic spectrum access and the implementation of regulatory models enabling its application within Argentina.

I delivered a training course session for the United States Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI) in Washington D.C and have attended some dynamic spectrum sharing discussions organized by the Internet Society (ISOC), as well as some panels and forums in universities.

We have many more exciting things on the horizon for the next six months and beyond – stay tuned for further announcements about the DSA Global Summit 2020 in Paris! Since my appointment as DSA President the organization has been extensively involved in furthering the progression of the dynamic spectrum industry. I look forward to expanding our efforts in the future and working to connect those that remain unconnected around the world.