The major flaw of Wi-Fi over TV white space

There seems to be a fair bit of excitement of the potential for using the soon-to-be-freed TV white space spectrum for providing Wi-Fi in Africa.

Whilst there is no arguing with the awesomeness of this spectrum, we should all be aware a major flaw:

There are no devices in the world, outside of prototypes, that can operate on TV white space spectrum. That means that if you rolled a network tomorrow (or launched blimps into the sky), no one can use the network.

You will first need to sell millions of devices (phones, routers, laptops) that are equipped with TV white space spectrum antennae.

TV white space is a opportunity for the future.

Having made my fair share of mistakes in the telecoms space, I can say with confidence that unless you’re solving the problems of today, you won’t have a chance to get to tomorrow.