The 8th Latin America Spectrum Management Conference will return as a virtual event in November 2021.
Taking place across a series of individual sessions, the conference will once again provide an online platform for stakeholders from Latin America to come together and discuss topical issues relating to the management and coordination of spectrum policy across the region.
Held using an interactive virtual event system, sessions will go beyond the standard webinar. Attendees will have the opportunity to get involved and engage through interactive sessions, one-to-one and group networking, technology demonstrations, a virtual exhibition area and more!
More details on the event, including the agenda and speaker line-up will be available shortly.
The conference is part of The Global Spectrum Series. The world’s largest collection of regional spectrum policy conferences.
WRC-23 – state of play ahead of the inter-regional workshop
Connecting the unconnected – tackling the digital divide
Delivering the reality of 5G in Latin America
Vertical connectivity – what approach for Latin America?
The emerging shape of the 6GHz band, C-Band and mmWave frequencies
Spectrum pricing, auctions and awards
Director, Radiocommunication Bureau, ITU
Executive Secretary, CITEL
Senior Advisor, ISED Canada
Chief, International Bureau, FCC
Head of Spectrum Management Department, URSEC
Manager of Spectrum, Orbit and Broadcasting, Anatel Brazil
Undersecretary, Information and Communication Technology of Argentina
Public Policy Director, Latin America, GSMA
Head of LatAm Government and Regulatory Affairs, OneWeb
Times listed below are Mexico City Local Time (UTC -5)
Preparatory work for WRC-23 has been continuing at a regional level both across the Americas and around the rest of the world. Less than a month after this conference, the first inter-regional workshop is due to be held, offering a first formal opportunity for representatives from each region to come together to discuss initial positions and exchange views. Ahead of that, this session will provide an update on current thinking across the Americas and elsewhere, initial results from studies that are being seen and the common views and proposals that are emerging.
• What are going to be the key discussions and agenda items at WRC-23 for Latin American stakeholders?
• What views and positions are emerging across the CITEL region and in other regions around the world?
• What results are being seen from the various sharing studies and other preparatory work that is being undertaken?
• In which areas and agenda items is there already broad agreement, and where is it likely that things will be a little more contentious?
• How do the views that are emerging at a CITEL level compare with positions elsewhere in the world?
• Moving beyond WRC-23, What are likely to be the key agenda items and topics for discussion for WRC-27?
5G is becoming a reality across Latin America. Networks have now been launched in Uruguay and Brazil, with awards of 5G spectrum having taken place in Chile, Brazil and Dominican Republic, and expected soon in Costa Rica, Colombia and Mexico amongst others. With the journey towards 5G continuing to move forward in this way, this session will take stock and provide an update of where currently are, as well as looking at future plans that are starting to emerge for the award of 5G spectrum across the region. With 4G adoption across the region still only at 55% at the end of last year, it will look at how regulators can balance the need to continue roll out of these services alongside the longer-term task of building and preparing for a 5G future.
• What 5G awards have taken place so far across the region, and what plans and roadmaps are set for future releases?
• What are the next steps following award of 5G spectrum, and how can regulators and operators work together to ensure 5G networks are then rolled out as soon as possible?
• What work is being done to promote and find the required investment in 5G across the region?
• How should countries be looking to balance the need to bring 5G spectrum to market alongside the continuing priority of rolling out 4G across the region?
• How ready is Latin America for 5G more broadly and how can it be ensured that the required infrastructure in place?
• How can IMT work together with other technologies such as satellite and WiFi to successfully deliver the 5G future?
As they look to meet the many varied connectivity requirements of different vertical industries, regulators are increasingly moving away from the traditional model of solely allocating spectrum to MNOs, and instead looking at the option of providing access directly to these end-users, enabling them to develop their own private, localised networks. In Latin America, countries are at a relatively early stage in deciding their preferred approach to deliver this vertical connectivity, meaning that the option potentially still exists to develop a co-ordinated approach across the region, instead of the fragmented approach that is being seen in Europe. This session will look at the different models and bands that are emerging as options to provide the ultra-reliable ‘industrial’ grade connectivity that is required by key vertical sectors, and at the best way forward for Latin America at both a national and regional level.
The 6GHz band is currently used across LatAm and much for the rest of the world for satellite uplink services and point-to-point fixed and microwave systems. It is also seen by both WiFi and IMT providers as a critical band to enable them to deliver their next generation wireless systems. Across the Americas region, positions on the band are emerging and there is movement across many countries to allocate the band or at least a portion of it) for unlicenced access. Whilst this continues, the future of the band is also on the agenda for WRC-23 – in the Americas (region 2), the top 100 MHz portion is under consideration for possible IMT allocation. This session will look at the different positions on the band across Latin America and elsewhere around the world, and what this might mean for the discussions on the band at WRC-23 and the broader future of the band in region 2 and beyond. With debates around the future of the band often billed as ‘WiFi vs 5G’, it will look at the extent to which this needs to be the case given the potentially complementary nature of these technologies.
• Where do we currently stand both across the Americas and elsewhere around the world when it comes to decisions on the future use of the 6GHz band?
• What national positions are emerging across the LatAm region, and to what extent is work being done to deliver a co-ordinated regional approach?
• To what extent may decisions already taken on the band by countries across the region and in Canada and the US have on the broader future of the band, and on the work that is being done towards WRC-23?
• To what extent will the 6GHz band play an important role in supporting digital transformation and digital economic growth in the region? How can the socio-economic benefits of the 6GHz band be best maximised across both developed and developing countries in the LatAm region?
• To what extent is co-existence between incumbent and potential new users such as WiFi and 5G feasible? What are some potential challenges would this present and how could these be overcome?
• Where does the balance lie between licenced and licence-exempt use of the 6GHz spectrum?
• Should the decisions that are being taken in the band be billed as being a choice between ‘WiFi vs 5G’, or is there ultimately a need to recognise the complimentary nature of these technologies and the role that they will both play in delivering a connected future?
As we have just seen, the future of the 6GHz band across the LatAm region as a whole is still not clear, with a number of countries still looking into the usage of the band and support from different parts of industry for both RLAN and licenced usage of this spectrum. Certain countries however have already announced their decision, with the majority (including Brazil, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala) taking the same approach as has been seen in the US and Canada and allocating the entire band for unlicenced use. This session will look at the next steps in those countries in which this decision has been taken. It will look at the plans in the band that are emerging, at the new use cases that opening up this spectrum is going to enable, and at the technical parameters and power limits that have been put in place within different scenarios to help avoid interference.
• What will the decision to open the band for unlicenced use mean for various different stakeholders – WiFi providers, incumbent users and users in adjacent bands, other industries also interested in this spectrum and most importantly, consumers?
• What technical parameters, power limits and other measures are being considered across different countries in order to protect incumbent (eg satellite and fixed links/backhaul) users in the band, and also users in adjacent bands?
• What new services and use cases are going to be enabled by the decision to open up the band for unlicenced use, and the larger channels (potentially up to 160Mhz) that this will open up?
• What has been the progress thus far in terms of device standards and ecosystem readiness for new applications expecting to leverage the 6GHZ band?
• What are the next steps and what is the timeframe ahead for likely rollout of full commercial services across the band?
• Will there be unlicensed equipment for the support of the complete 5925-7125 MHz as well as 5925-6425 MHz?
A recent study by GSMA claimed that in order to meet future needs for 5G, an additional 2GHz of mid-band spectrum will be required for 5G by 2030. At the same time, there are of course a number of other key users across the mid-band frequencies who’s needs also need to be met – satellite, WiFi and more. This session will look at the extent to which this figure is a realistic estimate of what is actually required, and at the different bands and options that are available in order to meet these growing needs. Focus will be given to the C-band, where the 3.4GHz – 3.6GHz portion of the band has been allocated for IMT, and where the future of both the 3.3GHz – 3.4GHz and the 3.6GHz – 3.8 GHz portions of the band are set to be discussed at WRC-23; and also to other mid-band frequencies which may provide options to deliver the additional required bandwidth.
COVID-19 has really highlighted the importance of digital connectivity in allowing governments, individuals and businesses to cope with social distancing, work from home, get access to distance learning and telehealth, and maintain business and service continuity. More than a third of the population in Latin America is still not digitally connected, and this digital divide is a major challenge for technology providers and policymakers across the region. This session will look at the different technologies, regulatory models and other options that are available to help to tackle this issue and deliver affordable connectivity in rural areas. Focussing on some of the successful projects that are emerging, it will look at how policymakers, technology providers and other key stakeholders can come together to overcome the barriers and continue to connect the hardest to reach areas.
Whilst a few of countries across Latin America have now awarded spectrum in the high frequency mmWave bands, in general the speed of release of spectrum in these bands has possibly been a little slower than anticipated. Many countries seem to be currently prioritising the release of spectrum in the mid-band frequencies. This session will look at plans that are emerging across the region for both the release and use of mmWave spectrum in the short-term and long-term. It will look at the different use case and users that exist in the band at the moment, and those which are likely to emerge as we move towards a 5G future. How the needs of all of the key users in these frequencies be met now and in the future?
In the past, many regulators have seen spectrum awards simply as a way of generating revenue, and looking to prioritise maximising the prices that can be achieved over anything else. High costs for spectrum bands however means that operators often have less money for investing in infrastructure and can lead to massive gaps in coverage and quality of networks. This has led to a change in direction starting to be seen in some countries, with priority moving towards welfare rather than revenue. In Colombia for example, an innovative new model in the 700MHz is being seen that will offer significant discounts off normal licence fees in return for committing to infrastructure investment, and similar models are being seen or being considered in countries such as Brazil and Peru. This session will look at approaches to spectrum pricing models relating to auction fees, renewal fees, fiscal fees and more, and examine the extent to which regulators should be prioritising revenue generation or welfare.
• Where does the balance lie for regulators when it comes to prioritising revenue generation against welfare and ensuring the optimum conditions for investment in networks and infrastructure?
• What do regulators need to be doing to ensure realistic prices for spectrum in awards, and what can be the possible implications if prices are too high?
• What considerations should be taken into account when looking to set renewal fees for spectrum licences?
• Should operators be able to ‘pay’ for spectrum in obligations instead of direct fees and what examples have been seen of this approach across the region?
• How can this model be best implemented to ensure that benefits are maximised? Are there lessons that can be taken from the ways in which similar approaches have been used elsewhere, for example RDOF in the US?
Session details to be confirmed shortly
Launched in 2014, and now in its eighth consecutive year, the Latin America Spectrum Management conference has previously taken place in Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Bogota, Buenos Aires and Lima. The event is established as the leading platform for spectrum policy discussion within the region.
Forum Global works closely with national governments and regulators, plus industry stakeholders from mobile, satellite, broadcast, public safety, HAPS and more to ensure that their voices are included.
Taking place virtually for the first time in November 2020, the 7th Latin America Spectrum Management Conference welcomed over 800 delegates from across the region and beyond for high-level discussions on WRC-19 & WRC-23, mmWave bands, the digital divide, key spectrum bands (in low, mid and high ranges), future connectivity networks, spectrum sharing, spectrum for verticals and much much more..