Since 2010, some 4,000 MHz of spectrum has been awarded to mobile operators in the Americas, more than doubling the amount assigned in the previous 20-year period, according to new research by Cullen International, the leading global provider of regulatory intelligence. Cullen International today launched a new intelligence service monitoring radio spectrum regulation and spectrum licences in the Americas.
The increasing volume of assignments demonstrates that authorities in the Americas have recognised the importance of making more spectrum available to allow greater connectivity and the development of high-speed mobile internet services, such as 5G. While only 1,284 MHz of spectrum was assigned to mobile operators in the 1990s, nearly 60% more was assigned in the 2000s, and more than 100% more in the 2010s. However, even more spectrum will need to be assigned in the future to meet the market’s growing demands and the needs of 5G.
“We expect the growth in volume of assigned spectrum to increase exponentially in the coming years. 5G technology requires wide contiguous spectrum holdings, particularly in the mid and high frequency bands. The ITU World Radio Conference taking place next week in Egypt will also identify more spectrum bands for the evolution of wireless technologies.” Carolina Limbatto, Head of Americas at Cullen International said.
Following the lead of the USA, Canada and Uruguay, other countries in the Americas aim to license 5G spectrum in the next two years. Brazil, Mexico and Peru have announced the award of 3.5 GHz spectrum, while several countries are analysing the availability of millimetre wave spectrum above 24 GHz.
“With our new Americas Spectrum intelligence service and database, we closely follow all national developments, allowing stakeholders not only to stay up to date but to get ahead of emerging trends.” says Limbatto.
The new Americas Spectrum service expands Cullen International’s existing spectrum coverage for Europe, providing subscribers with a comprehensive resource of news reports and in-depth research on spectrum assignments, licence conditions, auction designs and spectrum regulation in an additional twenty-two countries*.
At the heart of the Spectrum service is a structured database on spectrum licences and award procedures in the bands most relevant for mobile operators in 44 countries. The database can be accessed either by country or by spectrum band. It is complemented by a selection of benchmarks and country profiles, helping users to keep on top of national developments and allowing the efficient comparison of spectrum policy and regulation across the Americas.
In addition, the Spectrum service will provide neutral and independent coverage of spectrum policy developments, including national 5G action plans, spectrum regulation for satellite services, Internet of Things (IoT) and new emerging technologies, coverage obligations, issues around electromagnetic fields (EMF) exposure, and measures to enhance spectrum efficiency.
According to Carolina Limbatto: “While many governments are looking to 5G, there is still a lot of 4G spectrum remaining to be licensed. We also expect more policy developments around issues such as refarming, shared access, and more flexible uses to allow innovative technologies and services”.
* The countries covered by the service are: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.
About Cullen International
Cullen International (www.cullen-international.com) is an independent provider of regulatory and competition law intelligence in the telecoms, media, digital economy and postal sectors - covering developments across the Americas, Europe, Middle East and North Africa. For over thirty years, the company’s comprehensive, neutral and timely information has been trusted by industry and official institutions alike.