Brazil's way forward to 3G/UMTS
Latin America must license 3G within harmonised spectrum in line with the region's economic and social needs
Speaking at this week's Futurecom 2005 event in Florianopolis, Brazil, the Chairman of industry association The UMTS Forum www.umts-forum.org has outlined the benefits of 3G/UMTS for bringing affordable IMT-2000 mobile/cellular services to Brazil and the Latin American region.
As well as maintaining technology neutrality in the 3G licensing process, urged Jean-Pierre Beinaime, administrations in the region must respect need for hamonised spectrum, licensing 3G operators where applicable in the core 2GHz-IMT-2000 band. The UMTS Forum Chairman also stressed the need to impose realistic roll-out obligations for Latin American operators that will enable the timely introduction of IMT-2000 services in urban areas, in parallel with GSM/GPRS/EDGE, for the benefit of consumers and business users alike.
"There is a clear opportunity for developers in the Americas to participate in the global market for new 3G/UMTS services and applications", stated Bienaime. "Through a combination of affordably priced terminals and wide-area coverage 3G/UMTS can serve as a valuable tool for promoting social inclusion in the Latin American region."
Licensing and commercial introduction, emphasized Bienaime, should nevertheless be implemented in a timeframe that respects the underlying economical and social realities of the region, where there is still organic grwoth in the uptake of second-generation GSM.
Affirming that all IMT-2000 technologies should be licensed in the WARC-92 band, Bienaime also warned Futurecom delegates of the dangers posed by 'mixing' different spectrum band plans. Moves to combine elements of WARC-92 and PCS1900 band plans, stressed Bienaime, would cause interference problems that could only be rectified by additional filtering and base stations. This would lead to significant additional costs for all operators in the region, as well as spectrum loss due to the guard bands.
"The WARC-92 band is designated for all IMT-2000 technologies as recognised by the ITU," stated Bienaime. "Ensuring globally harmonised spectrum for IMT-2000 services will dramatically simplify the technological roadmap to IMT-2000 while delivering significant economies of scale. Introducing a mixed band plan could seriously impair the commercial feasibility of IMT-2000 implementation due to the additional technical complexity of safeguarding against interference."