Ecuador adopts Asian 700MHz plan, fourth LatAm country to do so

22 Oct 2012

Ecuador has adopted the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) segmentation scheme for the usage, development and exploitation of the frequency band 698MHz-806MHz (700MHz band). According to Ecuadorian telecoms regulator Conatel, the APT 700MHz spectrum plan was chosen as the best option to facilitate the deployment of 4G mobile network technology and devices with higher performance and the lowest possible costs. 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, while the model has guardbands to protect adjacent spectrum, both for television in the bottom of the band and cellular services at the top. Conatel said that the APT 700MHz plan ‘allows flexibility in defining the size of the spectrum blocks for a better fit with the characteristics of the technologies available and the needs of the country, avoiding the use of guard bands for coexistence between FDD and TDD systems in the same band, and provides a greater amount of spectrum to be used by 4G technologies.’ In adopting the APT plan, the regulator rejected the 700MHz scheme used in the United States. BNamericas reports that Ecuador is the fourth Latin American country to choose the APT 700MHz plan, following similar decisions earlier this year by the regulators in Chile, Colombia and Mexico, whilst 4G advocacy group 4G Americas says that the 686MHz-806MHz band in Ecuador is currently occupied by ultra-high frequency (UHF) terrestrial TV.