Anatel passes long-anticipated rules governing coexistence of 4G-digital TV services

14 Jul 2014

Brazil’s telecoms regulator Anatel has published the long-anticipated rules governing how digital TV and 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile services in the 700MHz band will be able to sit safely side by side in the country. The watchdog’s new regulations are designed to ensure that a degree of convergence can take place in respect of telecoms and broadcast services operating in the same frequency band, while simultaneously establishing technologies and strategies to alleviate and remove potential interference between them. As it stands, part of the 700MHz band – from 698MHz to 806MHz – is currently used for analogue TV services in Brazil, but these will be freed up once Brazil completes its digital switchover within the next three or so years.

The Brazilian government intends to auction off 700MHz spectrum for LTE by September this year, although under current rules they will not be able to use them immediately amid concerns that there will be a degree of 4G-digital TV interference. To stop this, Anatel’s regulations – which are based on field and laboratory tests – call for the installation of filters to protect mobile base stations from interference, and also for TV filters and signal amplifiers. The regulator notes that other measures may be needed, such as relocating base stations, reducing signal transmission power or adjusting the position of antenna. In the coming weeks it will publish its cost estimates for the cost and deployment of filters and TV channel reallocation, a bill that domestic cellcos will have to meet.