Brazil sticking to 2016 digital switchover despite delays

17 Oct 2011

Brazil’s communications minister Paulo Bernardo has reiterated that the country will complete the switchover from analogue to digital TV broadcasting in 2016 despite delays to the scheduled deployment of digital services around the country. The analogue switch-off in countries worldwide has provided additional frequencies in the 700MHz-800MHz band (the ‘digital dividend’) for the provision of 4G mobile broadband services including Long Term Evolution (LTE). In the meantime, Brazil is releasing other frequencies for the rollout of LTE networks including spectrum in the 2600MHz band, the first auction for which is slated for April 2012, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, which adds that mid-2013 is the approximate target date for awarding additional LTE licences. Brazil has committed to launching commercial LTE services in time for the country’s hosting of the football World Cup in 2014, while the minister also pointed out in his statement that the upcoming soccer tournament would act as a catalyst for the rollout and customer take-up of broadcasters’ digital TV services, processes for which the government is now fast-tracking. An additional landmark encouraging the rollout of new technologies is the summer Olympic Games taking place in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.