Argentina leads LatAm in spectrum allocation

Friday, January 12, 2018

Argentina was the Latin American country that assigned the most spectrum in 2017 for mobile services.

According to a 5G Americas report, Argentina accounted for 160MHz of the 485MHz allocated for mobile services in the region last year.

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Trailing Argentina was Uruguay, which assigned 125MHz with the auction of bands in the 700MHz, 1.9-2.1GHz, AWS and AWS-3 frequencies. Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and Mexico assigned 70MHz, 70MHz and 60MHz, respectively.

Overall, Brazil leads Latin America in terms of total spectrum awarded for mobile services.

According to 5G Americas, the spectrum assigned in the region last year was the result of four auctions and the reassignment of other bands for mobile services. However, the amount represented just a third of the spectrum allocation recommended for the year.

"The granting of 485MHz – 33% of the 1,481MHz target for 2017 – underscores the delay Latin America has historically experienced in awarding radio spectrum for mobile service. In the last 20 years, the region has been characterized by slow processes to allocate interference-free radio spectrum to be used immediately for the commercialization of mobile service," says the report.

5G Americas expects spectrum assignment for mobile services in Latin America will total 1,856MHz by the end of this year – including the 70MHz already awarded by Paraguay in a January 5 700MHz auction – provided all planned auctions and spectrum allocations go through. Again, Argentina is expected to lead the way.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) recommends allocating 1,960MHz of spectrum for mobile services as of 2020.