Spectrum use in Latin America: Summary report of the case studies of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela

Carlos A. Afonso

The Association for Progressive Communications (APC), through research on the spectrum as part of the Action Research Network, aims to increase understanding of the spectrum regulation policies in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This work is financed by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada. The research explores how the spectrum is shared, by whom and under what regulatory frameworks. It also examines the true extent of the supposed “spectrum shortage”, particularly given the evolution of new technologies like cognitive radio (a more efficient form of two-way radio) and new transmission protocols.

In Latin America case studies were done in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. This report reviews and summarises the most relevant aspects of these studies.

It aims to complement the information and vision for the region, in three main areas: the infrastructure needed for the universalisation of broadband and how to make large-scale, high quality, permanent internet access practical; the regulation of the spectrum and the opportunity for the public to participate in decision making; the challenges of community use of the spectrum, specifically the assignment of the digital dividend (frequencies released in the transition to digital television) and new technologies that open the underutilised spectrum or allow for secondary use of the spectrum.

The report concludes with a summary of the conclusions and recommendations presented in each case study.

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