Macra warns against illegal use of spectrum

Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (Macra) is warning against illegal use of spectrum –  which give signals to radios including those that are used at airports.

MACRA experts measuring spectrum usage.

Macra spectrum planning manager Dereck Kondwani said this on Thursday after the completion of an upgrading exercise on the spectrum monitoring sites which have been increased to 19 from five stations across the country.

Kondwani says Macra has mounted the monitoring sites across the country to curb illegal use of the spectrum.

“The regulator is taking such action because Malawi as a country needs to protect its spectrum,” he said.

Kondwani said any illegal and misguided interference to their airwaves could result into serious security and safety breaches as well as compromise the quality of services such as telecommunications and broadcasting.

He said the spectrum is also used in air traffic control.

In October 2009, Police arrested Gabriel Kondesi for operating illegal radio station known as Pachikweza located in Soza Village in Mulanje District.

It was in full operation broadcasting at 105.1 fm within a radius of 25 kilometres.

In January 2010, Police in Kasungu also arrested Anthony Masiku and Francis Chapotera on suspicion that they were operating a radio station without a license.

Their illegal radio station was known as Rhodes FM around the border between Kasungu and Dowa.

According to Kondwani, if such illegal radios are left undetected, chances are high that such fake broadcasters may misinform the public citing Rwanda genocide as the best example that came due to irresponsible broadcasting.

“This is why we need to monitor our spectrum to avoid all these,” Kondwani pointed out.

The Manager said from January 2020 all those requiring license frequency application would be doing it online and get their response online.

“The process is simple; people should visit Macra website come January 2020 and all details as well as links will be there,” he said.

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