e-Infrastructure and e-Services for Developing Countries. 8th International Conference, AFRICOMM 2016, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, December 6-7, 2016, Proceedings

Research Article

Africa’s Non-inclusion in Defining Fifth Generation Mobile Networks

  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.1007/978-3-319-66742-3_2,
        author={Gertjan Stam},
        title={Africa’s Non-inclusion in Defining Fifth Generation Mobile Networks},
        proceedings={e-Infrastructure and e-Services for Developing Countries. 8th International Conference, AFRICOMM 2016, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, December 6-7, 2016, Proceedings},
        proceedings_a={AFRICOMM},
        year={2017},
        month={10},
        keywords={Mobile networks e-infrastructure Africa Colonial discourse},
        doi={10.1007/978-3-319-66742-3_2}
    }
    
  • Gertjan Stam
    Year: 2017
    Africa’s Non-inclusion in Defining Fifth Generation Mobile Networks
    AFRICOMM
    Springer
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-66742-3_2
Gertjan Stam1,*
  • 1: Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre
*Contact email: gvanstam@sirdc.ac.zw

Abstract

This paper identifies and unpacks a troubling phenomenon whereby Africans have historically been and currently are de-facto excluded from processes that set mobile network standards such as 3G, 4G, and (now) 5G. It combines technical and procedural observations and colonial discourses of computing, concluding that enshrined systems and processes that steer the changes in mobile technology disempower African inputs and represent a continuation of the single use of situated techniques, skills, methods and processes in the production of core mobile technologies, all conceptualised outside Africa.