Brazil sanctions 700MHz band for mobile broadband use

11 Feb 2013

Brazil’s Minister of Communications Paulo Bernardo has officially sanctioned the use of the 700MHz band for mobile broadband services, according to a decree published in the federal gazette – Diario Oficial da Uniao – last Thursday. The authorisation gives the regulator Anatel the go ahead to begin formulating how to define and allocate the 698MHz-806MHz frequency band for mobile broadband use, with one eye on furthering the goals of the country’s national broadband plan (Plano Nacional de Banda Larga, or PNBL).

The government is looking to speed up the process of digitalising TV services in Brazil, BNAmericas writes, accelerating plans to switch off analogue signals in at least some parts of the country by July 2016, whilst simultaneously strengthening broadband capacity and penetration with additional (more suitable) spectrum.

The government’s decision has been broadly welcomed by the telecoms industry, with the telecommunications union Sinditelebrasil welcoming the announcement which it believes ‘will bring numerous social and economic benefits to the country and its people’. The endorsement was echoed by the GSM Association, which noted that the move complements decisions taken in a number of other Latin American countries, such as Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama and Uruguay.