More Industry InsightsIndigo Broadband Brings Carlson Wireless’ “Television White Space” Network Technology to Africa

February 13, 2020by myles

Indigo Broadband appointed Southern African distributor for network equipment from Carlson Wireless Technologies – the only ETSI-approved and Geo-Location Database verified TV White Space (TVWS) systems in the region 

Indigo Broadband has been appointed the authorised sub-Saharan distributor of TVWS network systems developed by Carlson Wireless of Eureka, California. Carlson Wireless is at the forefront of this new wave of wireless broadband, both in terms of performance and local regulatory compliance. Broadband networks that operate in the “Television White Spaces” allow cost-effective connectivity for communities not serviced by the current market offerings that are either not available or unaffordable to them.

Carlson Wireless Technologies achieved the coveted CE Mark certification in April 2019, indicating that the Carlson Generation 3 RuralConnect® base stations and customer premises equipment (CPEs) meets European Union standards for telecommunications systems certified by ETSI, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute. Carlson Wireless Gen3 RuralConnect products are already FCC-certified in the US.

This CE Mark and regulatory approval by ETSI means that Carlson Wireless’ TVWS systems meet the type-approval requirements of South African regulatory authority, ICASA. In another major first, Indigo Broadband worked extensively with local experts from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to ensure these systems also meet ICASA requirements for interaction with the required reference Geo-Location Database (the GLDB or GDB).

“Indigo has been working very hard over the past years to bring Carlson Wireless Technologies products to this region – in the right way. Meeting both the required ETSI certification and the  technical interfaces to regulator-mandated systems were followed, together with establishing the service and support resources to ensure this technology can be rolled out for commercial broadband services,” said Keith Pitout, CTO of Indigo Broadband South Africa.

The product range includes the Carlson Wireless Gen3 and Gen3 Mini RuralConnect products. The big brother in the range is a three-radio/three-sector base station, providing an aggregate capacity of up to 96Mbps . This could provide up to  60 separate households or small businesses with 3Mbps connections. Carlson RuralConnect systems can reach over 15km if there is clear line of sight, or 5-10km near-line-of-sight where there are obstructions such as hills or trees. Carlson is soon bringing to market an entry level “Mini” version equipped with one radio that can be easily set up in a public building, office or home location with access to a traditional telecoms network connection, linking to it up to 20 end user sites with a return on investment of less than one year.

The long range capabilities under difficult terrain makes the TVWS systems from Carlson ideally suited to rural or underserviced areas. Other radio technologies have limited or no range in a “near-line-of-sight application”, making their deployment cost-prohibitive in many applications.

“We have been working with Indigo Broadband very closely, because TVWS technology has the power to radically improve access to Internet connectivity for many communities. However, regulatory requirements are necessarily strict. Introduction into new markets must be done methodically and in full co-operation with local authorities,” says James Carlson, CEO of Carlson Wireless. “Indigo Broadband is a great partner for us in Southern Africa, with a rigorous technical process and years of hard-won expertise in deploying new connectivity technologies.”

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About Indigo Broadband

Indigo Broadband SA Pty (Ltd) is a broadband technology solutions provider and an active pioneer of TV White Space technology in South Africa. It validates systems it supplies in comprehensive field trials as well as actively engaging with telecoms regulator, ICASA, to ensure full local compliance. Indigo Broadband is the Carlson-appointed Master Distributor for its TV White Space products in Southern Africa. Indigo Broadband is positioned as one of the leading TVWS technology partners in Southern Africa to support Wireless ISPs and broadband operators as they deploy TVWS solutions. 

About Carlson Wireless

Carlson is a pioneer of the revolutionary new TV White Space broadband technology. Using the Carlson RuralConnect TV White Space radios, government, commercial, and educational entities around the world have taken steps to prove many use cases for this new technology. Trials have shown this product can be used to provide critical services to underserved remote areas where no other technology meets the criteria. Over the Internet, these rural areas now have available social, business, medical, and educational services used to bring them into the modern world. A step beyond all previous technologies, TV White Space truly bridges the digital divide.

Press Contacts:

Hannes Snyman: CEO  email:

Keith Pitout: CTO email:

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