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March 31 2000


Download full version of this press release in PDF format here:   Brazil_a.pdf (41KB)

March 31 2000: As Brazilian regulator ANATEL (a member of the ITU) draws closer to publishing the outcome of its consultation process on allocation of new radio spectrum to increase the competition and capacity of Brazil’s mobile cellular services, the UMTS Forum stresses that spectrum planning decisions should allow Brazil to compete effectively in tomorrow’s global mobile multimedia Information Society that will be enabled by IMT-2000.

IMT-2000 is the ITU’s 3rd Generation solution to providing a low-cost, mass-market Wireless Information Society suitable for both developing and developed countries worldwide. IMT-2000 operates in a core band of spectrum identified by WARC ’92 and which is rapidly being licensed in many countries throughout the world. To date, countries in every continent except for the Americas have announced licensing plans and made commitments to make the WARC ’92 bands available for IMT-2000. The UMTS Forum calculates that more than 100 licences will be issued by 2002, all operating within the IMT2000 core band to facilitate global roaming. In addition, leading terminal manufacturers around the world are well advanced with their development of single mode IMT-2000 as well as dual-mode IMT-2000 products for the GSM market; these are scheduled for launch in 2001/2002.

For many people throughout the world living in areas where the fixed infrastructure services or current mobile services lack the necessary capacity or availability, IMT-2000 will provide their first experience of the emerging Information Society and the socio-economic benefits it will bring to all countries. IMT-2000 will bring better economies of scale, worldwide roaming etc.

The Brazilian administration (ANATEL) is currently reviewing the opportunities to issue PCS licences. Two spectrum options are being considered, one at 1800 MHz and the other at 1900 MHz. If Brazil were to follow the US model which uniquely allocated IMT2000 spectrum in the 1900 MHz band for its "second generation" PCS services, cautions the UMTS Forum, there is a risk that Brazil will be unable to participate effectively in the global mobile multimedia Information Society that IMT-2000 will enable, and which is scheduled to launch in Asia and Europe in 2001/2002.

The 1900 MHz PCS band plan - which cuts across the world-wide IMT-2000 core band - cannot itself be later "upgraded" to 3G because the band will have become congested with 2G voice traffic. The alternative option, the 1800 MHz plan leaves the IMT-2000 core band entirely free for future 3rd Generation services. Furthermore, the 1800MHz band plan - as deployed throughout Europe and Asia including China and representing more than 80%* of the global PCS market - does not prevent the 1800 MHz band being identified as part of the additional IMT-2000 band (i.e. between 1710 and 1885 MHz) that is being proposed at the international spectrum-planning conference, WRC 2000 in May and June this year.

When reviewing the differences between IMT-2000 and second generation cellular or PCS services, the 3rd Generation IMT-2000 clearly offers increased flexibility and capacity as well as broadband Internet access capabilities, video communication and multimedia.

"The experience of a worldwide approach to spectrum planning should not be ignored", says UMTS Forum Chairman Dr Bernd Eylert. "Brazil’s choice will enable it to take account of the future implementation of new IMT-2000 services at affordable cost for the country’s 180 million inhabitants."

"The ITU has clearly indicated that at the heart of the IMT2000 project is not just services or technology but a harmonised approach to global availability of spectrum", continues Eylert. "The market has already demonstrated the attraction of global standards operating in harmonised spectrum plans - as seen in the past successes of AMPS and GSM - and by adopting the same radio planning methodology as other ITU regions. Furthermore, operators using open standards in harmonised spectrum have the opportunity to compete on service, coverage, quality and price... and this will always benefit the end user."

"Open standards are a key component in the development of the Wireless Information Society", concludes Eylert. "In the UMTS Forum we thus look forward to a positive decision from the Brazilian administrator that will help secure the country’s future participation in the enormous worldwide opportunity that IMT-2000 provides."

* Source: EMC

Notes to editors:

Spectrum backgrounder

The inter-governmental World Administrative Radio Conference ’92 (WARC-92) identified the frequency bands 1885 - 2025 MHz and 2110 - 2200 MHz for IMT-2000, and which includes between 30 and 45 MHz (depending on region) of paired bands for the satellite component of IMT-2000.

IMT-2000 spectrum bands are identified in the International Radio Regulations (RR) and are intended for use on a worldwide basis by administrations wishing to implement IMT2000. Further details of the ITU’s IMT-2000 spectrum planning can be found in ITU Recommendation M.1036-1 and forms part of the process of specifying the radio interface(s) of IMT-2000.

Many countries around the world have already announced their commitment to deploying IMT-2000 in the ITU IMT-2000 core bands.

IMT-2000 used to be known as "Future Public Land Mobile Telecommunications Systems" (abbreviated to FPLMTS) until it was changed in 1997 at WRC-97.

At the inter-governmental conference WRC-2000 to be held in Istanbul during May and June 2000, the UMTS Forum will be supporting proposals from many National Administrations from around the world who are seeking a further 160 MHz of mobile spectrum that will be required to support the forecast growth of IMT-2000 up to year 2010, depending on local market factors. This spectrum will be especially important to support the highly interactive, multimedia-rich services in high population areas.

The UMTS Forum

Established in December 1996 and currently comprising 200 companies from nearly 40 countries worldwide, the UMTS Forum is an international, independent body that is committed through the building of industry consensus to the successful introduction of low-cost, high-quality personal communications and information services. Membership driven, the Forum works to identify common interests and to promote:

  • Realisation of the full vision of third generation mobile services;
  • Timely availability of radio spectrum to support UMTS/IMT-2000;
  • Harmonisation of globally-accepted standards;
  • A sound regulatory framework for the introduction of UMTS/IMT-2000;
  • A clear understanding of future market opportunities;
  • Convergence and mutual understanding between the interests of telecommunications, Information Technology, media and content industries.

The UMTS Forum is a non-profit making, open association of industry players drawn from telecommunications operators, suppliers, regulatory bodies, plus the Information Technology and media sectors.

The Forum is a Market Representation Partner within the Third Generation Partnership Project (

For press information, please contact

Chris Solb�
UMTS Forum Press Office
Tel: +44 956 388798

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