Nine countries in Latin America have announced plans to assign frequencies to mobile services, a series of developments that could add a combined capacity of more than 1,500 MHz to the region over two years, according to a new report by 5G Americas.
Together, the countries — Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela — would add 1,556 MHz if they meet their goals. The organization notes, however, the final amount to be assigned will depend on the tenders and other documents in the corresponding processes as determined by the competent authorities.
The jump, if fully realized, would be enormous, says 5G Americas, a non-profit organization of service providers and manufacturers in the telecom industry. The current volume of radio-electric spectrum assigned to mobile services in these countries — mostly on 700 MHz and 2.5 GHz bands with some on 1700/2100 GHz bands — currently adds up to 2,721 MHz. So this addition would be boosting the potential capacity by 57% in the availability of frequencies for mobile services.
The current average spectrum assigned per Latin American country is only 339 MHz. Currently, only Colombia and Costa Rica are above that regional average. But the announced plans could also bring Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela above that number.
“The news of the upcoming processes to assign radio-electric spectrum frequencies in Latin America reflects a greater awareness on the part of governments in the region of the importance that mobile services have in boosting connectivity as a means of improving people’s lives,” said Jose Otero, director for Latin America and the Caribbean of 5G Americas. “It shows a greater interest in fostering development of an infrastructure that allows for better services, which definitely results in connected communities with a better quality of services.”
5G Americas points out, however, that the new assignments won’t mean much unless they are able to put to use right away. “It is important to mention that these benefits will only be had if the spectrum that is given to the operators can be immediately used to commercialize mobile services,” said Otero. “Otherwise, the impact on its development would be negligible until it can be used.”