The board of Brazil’s telecom agency Anatel said regulators will carry out studies on the 700 MHz band regarding the use of this spectrum for digital television (check out the presentation – in Portuguese). By 2016, all analog TV, which is on the 700 MHz band, will be turned off.
Anatel has also approved a new designation of a portion of the upper range of 700 MHz (746 MHz to 806 MHz) which is currently fully used by repeat TV (RPTV). Anatel is analyzing what will happen with VHF TV channels when the migration to digital TV is finished.
This study should be finished by December this year. Then it will be sent to the Ministry of Communications to help establish public policy for the use of the band after the end of analog broadcasts in 2016.
According to Anatel’s press release, the study will focus mainly on allocating digital TV, but the agency did not dismiss the potential use of this frequency band for LTE deployment. Indeed, the greatest barrier for using 700 MHz for 4G is the current use of the band for analog television.
A recent survey released by GSMA and AHCIET noted that the allocation of “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 would expand mobile broadband coverage to nearly 93% of the population.
In Brazil, Anatel will auction radio frequencies in the 451 MHz to 458 MHz band; the 461 MHz to 468 MHz band and the 2.5 GHz to 2690 MHz band. That spectrum is expected to be used to expand access to LTE-based services. However, the government has not released any decision about the 700 MHz frequency band for LTE.
Several analysts point out that 700 MHz would be a better choice for Brazil, since it requires less equipment to cover a larger area.