21 Jan 2009

Spetrum caps set to hamper mobile broadband development in Latin America?

Given that I am currently tweaking the draft agenda for the annual Americas Com conference (this year: Rio de Janeiro, 31 June & 1 July), one of the lead stories in today's Global Mobile Daily is especially useful food for thought. GMD notes that the GSMA is urging Latin American regulators to relax spectrum caps which the Association feels to be hampering the development of mobile broadband services in the region.

According to a study commissioned for the GSMA, spectrum caps in Latin America are among the most restrictive in the world: a maximum of 40MHz is allowed per operator in Colombia, 50 MHz in Argentina, 60 MHz in Chile, 65 MHz in Mexico and 80 MHz in Brazil. This compared with over 300 MHz of spectrum available in most North American and European markets. Assuming this continues to be an inhibiting factor for the region's MNOs, I daresay it will be a major topic for discussion at the conference. I will encourage colleagues to consult with the good folks at 3G Americas in order to get a sense of how much discussion time is merited by this particular issues. At the event, 3G Americas President Chris Pearson will lead the usual Executive Briefing his organisation has traditionally offered to delegates.