Spectrum Needed to Fuel Growth of LTE in Latin America

BELLEVUE, Wash. – “LTE technology advancements will help to deliver improved spectral efficiency, but a key element for successful mobile broadband services for Latin America will essentially be spectrum,” stated Bob Calaff, Director of Latin America and the Caribbean at 4G Americas.  

There are 38 commercial LTE networks in 18 countries of Latin America, largely in urban areas, and the number of LTE connections is expected to increase by 100 percent in the next two years, according to Informa Telecoms and Media. LTE delivers optimal spectral efficiency and best operates in wider spectrum bands such as 20 MHz or more. “Therein resides the problem,” continued Calaff. “On average across Latin America only 20 percent of the ITU’s recommended target spectrum allocation for 2015 has been met, resulting in a tremendous shortfall of available spectrum. Without adequate spectrum, LTE services are not able to be efficiently delivered, putting the region at a disadvantage with many other regions of the world.”

To address this important issue, 4G Americas will be supporting Forum Global’s 2014Latin America Spectrum Management Conference, May 14-15 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The conference is timely because, according to Calaff, “As the year unfolds, there are a number of regional spectrum efforts which are vital to the development of emerging mobile broadband networks in Latin America. These include activities related to liberating 700 MHz and AWS spectrum.”

The 700 MHz band is needed to continue the progress of mobile broadband connections in the region and to provide a coverage layer to complement current mobile broadband deployments in higher spectrum bands. The improved coverage with 700 MHz is ideal for rural areas and will extend the current urban services to more people in the region. Brazil and Colombia are expected to auction 700 MHz in the late 2014/early 2015 timeframe.

Another important spectrum band for Latin America is the extended AWS band.  Notably, the U.S. recently concluded a proceeding to auction the AWS-3 (Advanced Wireless Services) band of 1755-1780 MHz matched with 2155-2180 MHz in late 2014. The AWS band is harmonized across the Americas for mobile broadband, which means the entire AWS spectrum band (starting at 1710 MHz in the lower band and 2110 MHz in the upper band) could be a significant band for LTE roaming and scale economies throughout North, Central and South America. Peru is among those countries currently working to similarly extend its AWS allocation.

The Conference also comes at an opportune time given the important regional preparations currently underway for the 2015 World Radio Conference – the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) global conference dedicated to securing internationally harmonized spectrum for mobile broadband. As governments and industry approach a pivotal time finalizing these preparations, the Latin America Spectrum Management Conference provides a valuable forum for the timely exchange of views on relevant regional spectrum issues among key stakeholders from government, operators, vendors, analysts and others.

Tom Chinnock of Forum Global, the organizer of the Conference, noted, “There was a successful outcome at Forum Global’s Americas Spectrum Management Conference in Washington, D.C., and now we are pleased to offer a similar event focused on the specific challenges of spectrum allocation in Latin America. 4G Americas is a trusted partner in support of this inaugural Latin America Spectrum Management Conference.”

Forum Global is pleased to offer a 10 percent discount using code 4GAM to all registrations accessed at this site: 4G Americas – VIP Registration.   Please note that the event is free to attend to all organizations except corporations.  For additional information contact Tom Chinnock.

Resources: 4G Americas report with Signals Telecom Consulting, Analysis of ITU Spectrum Recommendations in the Latin America Region, showed an 80 percent deficit in available spectrum for the region in 2015, with greater shortages in future years.


About 4G Americas: Unifying the Americas through Mobile Broadband Technology

4G Americas is an industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers. The organization’s mission is to advocate for and foster the advancement and full capabilities of the 3GPP family of mobile broadband technologies, including LTE-Advanced, throughout the ecosystem’s networks, services, applications and wirelessly connected devices in the Americas. 4G Americas contributes to the success of 3GPP technologies and their No. 1 place in the region. 4G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash. More information is available atwww.4gamericas.org.

4G Americas’ Board of Governors members include: Alcatel-Lucent, América Móvil, AT&T, Cable & Wireless, Cisco, CommScope, Entel, Ericsson, HP, Mavenir, Nokia Solutions and Networks, Openwave Mobility, Qualcomm, Rogers, T-Mobile USA and Telefónica