Tuesday November 10, 2020

5G and the 3.5 GHz range in Latin America

Person looking at mobile phone smiling, light is reflecting on face in dark room

This report offers an in-depth analysis of the 3.5 GHz range for 5G in LatAm; what the current situation is, how to overcome all challenges, and what should happen next.

The 3.5 GHz range is already used in a majority of commercial 5G networks worldwide and has the largest ecosystem of devices. This makes it the closest we have to a globally harmonised band. Unlocking the use of the range is, therefore, key to the future of 5G success.

The “5G and the 3.3-3.8 GHz Range in Latin America” report takes an in-depth look at Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay. It looks at current usage and potential demand for the range in Latin America, in order to help decide next steps. And, importantly, how to maximise the benefits from rolling out 5G networks powered by spectrum in the range.

The report’s recommendations include:

  • Prioritise improved mobile broadband connectivity to achieve socio-economic benefits above revenue maximisation;
  • Provide a roadmap for future availability and release spectrum as part of national spectrum planning policies
    (national allocation to mobile and identification for IMT services and licensing schedule and plans), allowing the reshuffling of blocks to guarantee contiguous ranges of at least 80-100 MHz per operator;
  • Follow international best practices, band plans and trends;
  • Provide clarity in terms of coexistence, synchronisation agreements and cross-border interference;
  • Assign spectrum with technology neutrality; and
  • Grant longer licensing periods (ideally 20 years or longer), with the presumption of renewal, to provide long term certainty for network investment.

The report is available for download above, and you can read a blog post on this exiting topic here.

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