Status of the 3.3–3.8 GHz spectrum bands in the Americas 14 December 20 Alexandra Contreras Flores

Different parts of the 3.3–4.2 GHz band have been identified as one of the pioneer spectrum bands for 5G around the world. In the Americas, several countries have identified or are analysing the release of parts of the 3.3‑3.8 GHz range for international mobile telecommunications (IMT) services.

According to Cullen International’s latest research, almost all researched countries have adopted a plan to use the band for 5G, but there are significant differences in the timetables for the award of licences and in the amount of spectrum that will be used in total.

In the United States, 70 MHz has been available for IMT on a shared basis since October 2020, while in Chile 150 MHz will be available in February 2021.  Brazil, Colombia and Peru plan to release between 400 and 500 MHz after 3Q 2021.

In some countries it is still undecided whether the entire spectrum band can be cleared from other uses and made available for 5G. Typical legacy use of the 3.3–3.8 GHz band includes:

  • licences for fixed wireless access based on WiMAX, often issued on a local or regional basis with different expiry dates;
  • point to point communications; or
  • satellite earth stations.

Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and the United States have plans to migrate the legacy users in the 3.3–3.8 GHz band into other bands.

Our newly designed Americas Spectrum benchmark highlights plans and the current use of the 3.3–3.8 GHz band for IMT services, its frequency plan and status, and the migration plan for legacy services.

To access the full benchmark, please click on “Access the full content” - or on “Request Access”, in case you are not subscribed to our Americas Radio Spectrum service.

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