Kenya using Rohde & Scharz spectrum monitoring stations


The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has placed an order with Rohde & Schwarz for additional mobile and spectrum monitoring equipment, after an initial contract in 2016.

In June 2019, the Communications Authority of Kenya concluded the tender process for phase two of its spectrum management and monitoring system by placing an order with Rohde & Schwarz to extend the system the company placed in service in February 2016.

The second phase consists of a systems design, proposal, delivery, installation and training. In addition it includes implementation and maintenance services for three control centres in Nyeri, Kisumu and Eldoret to remotely control existing stations, one V/UHF fixed monitoring station in Nyeri, one direction-finding (DF) base in Kitale and three mobile monitoring stations. A fixed HF monitoring station and three mobile monitoring and DF stations are to be delivered. The second phase will be implemented by mid-2020.

The mobile monitoring stations will use pickup trucks as a base, allowing for off-road capabilities. The trucks will be acquired locally while the mobile monitoring system will be installed into special truck-mounted shelter at the Rohde & Schwarz factory. After delivery, the system shelter will be mounted onto the trucks, allowing for system integration and local platforms for easier maintenance. The system is designed to be inconspicuous as it conceals onto a standard factory pickup truck and the DF antenna is mounted directly on a concealable and extendable mast. When retracted, the mast with the DF antenna remains hidden therefore the pickup truck does not appear as a mobile monitoring station. The elevated antenna results in higher system sensitivity, making it possible to precisely take bearings on weak signals and expand the detection range.

Rohde & Schwarz will be updating the existing system in order to offer a standardised user interface. The new control centres and monitoring stations will be able to interact with the Communications Authority’s existing spectrum monitoring network and the Authority will be able to run both the old and new systems seamlessly, according to Rohde & Schwarz.

“We are proud that the Communications Authority of Kenya again put its trust in Rohde & Schwarz by commissioning phase two,” stated Martin Atanassov, Director of Marketing, Rohde & Schwarz Monitoring and Network Testing Division.

“R&S ARGUS has been consistently and systematically expanded and improved to ensure excellent solutions for ever-changing challenges. Thanks to a wide range of specialised equipment, the open interfaces and unrivalled monitoring capabilities, R&S ARGUS is well-suited for applications far beyond the scope of ITU-compliant monitoring. R&S ARGUS 6.1, the latest development step, focuses on complete workflows and operability to ensure that you get the job done – faster and better than ever.”

Part of the contract is a seven-year maintenance agreement with Rohde & Schwarz that includes maintenance, remote support and yearly inspections of all stations.

The Communications Authority of Kenya awarded Rohde & Scharz an initial frequency management contract to detect and prevent interference in radio communications services. Under the initial contract, Rohde & Schwarz supplied eleven stationary monitoring and direction finding stations and four all-road vehicles. The Authority commissioned the system in early 2016.