Latin American governments urged to detail spectrum awarding plan 

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In the last Latin American Telecommunications Congress (CLT19), much of the debate addressed the need to accord more spectrum to operators ahead of the arrival of 5G. Governments should award spectrum with a clear understanding of how it shall assist in achieving digital inclusion goals. That was one of the main outcomes of the CLT19, according to Bnamericas. Until September 2018, Latin American countries had awarded an average of 363,8MHz of spectrum. The amount represents only 28% of the 1300MHz advised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2015. Private stakeholders claimed that regulators should precise a clear view to operators to guarantee that they have legal security to make their investments. Telefónica highlighted that telecom operators make 70% of investment in the digital environment, but receive 40% of the income as a consequence of the over the top (OTT) emergence including Google and Facebook. The company pointed out that the sector has completely changed in the past 20 years and it is still regulated in the same way. The congress also stressed that high prices to award spectrum and taxes will result in less investment in infrastructure and high prices for the end users. The GSMA predicts that 5G technologies will contribute US$20,8 billion to Latin American economies by 2034. Facebook required changes in the regulatory focus because telecommunication is migrating from a voice to a data model. The congress was organised by the Latin American telecoms association (Asiet), the GSMA, the ITU, and Latin American development bank CAF. 


 

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