Bands across the ocean: Mexico adopting Asia-Pacific 700MHz model

21 Sep 2012

Mexican regulator the Federal Telecommunications Commission (Cofetel) has recommended the adoption of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) scheme for the usage, development and exploitation of the frequency band 698MHz-806MHz (700MHz band), while rejecting the 700MHz scheme used in the United States. Cofetel said the decision to use the APT model was based on its ‘high efficiency’ of spectrum usage to best facilitate the expansion of broadband access to the entire population at the lowest possible prices.

The APT band plan allocates the 703MHz-748MHz and 758MHz-803MHz bands with conventional duplex, which gives 2×45MHz of bandwidth available for deploying mobile technologies. A 10MHz gap separates transmission and reception bands. Cofetel said the plan provides ‘greater flexibility in spectrum use and caters to the future demands of mobile broadband services.’ In addition, the model has guardbands to protect adjacent spectrum, both for television in the bottom of the band and cellular services at the top.

The director of the GSM Association Latin America, Sebastian Cabello, gave a statement in support of the move: ‘Cofetel in Mexico yesterday voted in favour of the adoption of the APT band plan for the 700MHz band for mobile services. The GSMA welcomes this announcement from the Mexican regulator on this significant decision, which will help progress the allocation of the Digital Dividend spectrum to mobile and realise the social and economic benefits associated with mobile broadband. In light of yesterday’s decision, the GSMA encourages countries in Latin America to work together to implement a harmonised 700MHz band plan for mobile services. Spectrum harmonisation is essential to generate cost efficiencies in both network technology and devices, allowing deployment to remote areas to ultimately make mobile broadband services more accessible and affordable for all consumers.’

Mexico, Comision Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Cofetel)