Allocating digital dividend spectrum in the 700 MHz band
for the deployment of mobile services could contribute almost $15 billion to
the Latin American economy and will expand Mobile Broadband coverage to nearly
93 per cent of the population, according to GSMA and AHCIET.
The figures are from a new study, jointly commissioned by
the GSMA and AHCIET and conducted by Telecom Advisory Services LLC (TAS), on the
economic and social impact of the digital dividend in Latin America.
Mobile Broadband presents a huge opportunity to drive
connectivity across the region, as well as to contribute tens of billions of
dollars to the overall economy,” said Tom Phillips, chief government and
regulatory affairs officer at the GSMA.
The switchover from analogue to digital TV across Latin
America won’t be completed for a number of years. However there is currently
significant capacity available in the 700 MHz band ready to be utilised, and we
urge all governments across the region to act now and allocate this spectrum
for Mobile Broadband and reap the vast social and economic benefits this will
provide,” Phillips added.
The figures represent the total economic impact of
licensing the digital dividend spectrum for Mobile Broadband in Latin America,
as well as the purchase of network infrastructure, support and commercial
This contrasts with a gain of only US$3.5 billion if the
band remains reserved for broadcasting across the region. For the five major
economies in Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, the
upside of allocating the digital dividend to Mobile Broadband is even more
significant, contributing up to almost US$11 billion, compared to just under
US$3 billion if the band is reserved for broadcasting.
Digital dividend spectrum is currently allocated for
broadcasting in most Latin American countries, but, as a result of the
transition from analogue to digital TV, this spectrum now has significant free
By allocating digital dividend spectrum for Mobile
Broadband technologies, such as HSPA and LTE, the disparity between the
connected and disconnected, commonly known as the digital divide, can be
Through the re-allocation of digital dividend spectrum,
Mobile Broadband coverage could increase from 75 percent to approximately 95
percent of population in Argentina, 75 to 95 percent in Brazil, 53 to 90
percent in Colombia, 39 to 94 percent in Mexico and 65 to 89 percent in Peru.
The deployment of the 700 MHz spectrum for Mobile
Broadband across Latin America also delivers significant social and economic
benefits. This includes an additional US$3.1 billion in GDP growth, 5,540 more
jobs and US$2.6 billion further tax revenue than would be created through
broadcasting services. It would also help generate a consumer surplus of US$5.2
billion. Furthermore, there will be significant social impact, through improved
access to educational resources, improved health services and greater financial
“This study demonstrates how Mobile Broadband
technology will become a key contributor to Latin American social and economic
development. It will expand the reach of the internet to nearly 93 per cent of
people across the region and will help create many new business and employment
opportunities,” said Pablo Bello, secretary general of AHCIET.
“The digital divide, in terms of supply, demand,
prices and coverage, is still an issue. However, the region has a unique
opportunity to address this and create an inclusive, information-based society.
With a few exceptions, Latin American countries can seize the opportunities
that Mobile Broadband delivers without delay,” said Raul Katz of TAS.
By Telecomlead.com Team