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Latin America must speed up digital dividend spectrum release

UMTS Forum congratulates Brazil on adoption of APT-700 band plan; also calls on LA region to accelerate DTV migration plans


23 October 2013: The UMTS Forum has urged regulators in Latin America to speed up the release of digital dividend spectrum in the 700MHz band to mobile operators. This will bring economies of scale and cost reduction in LTE devices, while also helping operators provide cost-efficient mobile broadband coverage to large parts of the region’s population.

In his keynote address at Futurecom in Rio de Janeiro – 4G LTE: facing up to Latin America’s data challenge - UMTS Forum Chairman Jean-Pierre Bienaimé congratulated the Brazilian Authorities for their decision use newly-liberated digital dividend spectrum for mobile services, following the APT-700 band plan (also known as ‘3GPP band 28’). Many other countries have already formally adopted this plan that promises appealing economies of scale, spectrum efficiency and flexibility on license process within its contiguous 45+45 MHz, plus near-worldwide roaming opportunities thanks to global harmonisation.

Alongside Brazil, several Latin American countries have formally announced that they will adopt the APT-700 band plan, aligning them with several other world regions. Confirmed backers of the band include Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. Other countries including Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay are also expected to confirm their decision soon.

“Regulators can help market actors in the LA region by publishing details of their DTV migration plans in good time”, noted the UMTS Forum Chairman. M. Bienaimé also remarked that in countries where the digital dividend is now being used for mobile, careful planning and mitigation measures have resulted in far lower problems from interference than had been originally forecast by some observers.

In 2015, the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) will address Agenda Item 1.2: the introduction of IMT/Mobile Broadband in the 694-790 MHz band in Region 1 (Europe, Middle East, and Africa). The UMTS Forum has already given its support to adopting a lower part of APT-700 band plan for ITU Region 1.

Specifically, the UMTS Forum advocates the adoption of 2 x 30MHz for mobile services in the 700MHz band, harmonised with the ‘lower duplex’ portion of the APT-700 band plan. The proposed arrangement optimizes the use of frequencies in both 800 and 700 MHz spectrum bands, thus giving access to at least 120 MHz of paired spectrum below 1GHz.

Global harmonisation of the relevant technical conditions related to lower duplex of the 3GPP band 28 would dramatically simplify the design of mobile terminals and network equipment. This drives economies of scale, reducing the cost of devices and services to end users and enabling global roaming, while reducing overall network deployment costs.

Find out more about globally harmonised use of the 700 MHz frequency band for mobile broadband.



Mobile broadband is changing the way the world communicates. The UMTS Forum helps all players in this dynamic value chain understand and profit from the opportunities of 3G/UMTS and 4G LTE networks.

The UMTS Forum participates actively in the work of the ITU, EC, ETSI, 3GPP and CEPT as well as other technical and commercial organisations globally. It also contributes to the timely licensing and deployment of mobile broadband globally through regular dialogue with regulators and responses to public consultations.

The UMTS Forum supports the interests of its membership with a range of studies, reports and other outputs. Principal focus areas include markets trends, mobile broadband services and applications, key growth markets, spectrum & regulation, technology & implementation. A strong promotional voice is maintained via a high-profile presence at conferences, seminars and workshops as well as regular briefings to the media, analysts and other stakeholders.

Membership of the UMTS Forum draws together everyone with an interest in mobile broadband, including network operators, regulators and the manufacturers of network infrastructure and terminal equipment.


For more information:
Chris Solbé
UMTS Forum Press Office
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