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Mexico becomes the first country to open the 600 MHz band

The Federal Institute of Telecommunications (Ifetel) in Mexico authorized the last frequency changes of two digital terrestrial television stations operating in the 600 MHz band, which completes the release of the band. Mexico has become the first country in the world in achieving this process.

This opens the possibility of obtaining a second digital dividend in the country, which, in turn, will allow the exploitation of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) applications for the mobile broadband service. Through fifth generation technologies, commonly known as 5G.

During the last three years, Ifetel carried out various operations to optimize the use of the spectrum attributed to the broadcasting sector, specifically for television channels in the 600 MHz band, in order to use the frequencies in this band for telephony services and access to the mobile internet.

More than 200 television channels, which operated in different cities of the country in the 600 MHz band, were relocated through various resolutions approved by the plenary session in 2015, with the last two being approved on October 3.

The last reassignment ordered by the plenary was given to a concessionaire who operated two stations in channels above 37, specifically, in the ranges 638-644 MHz and 644-650 MHz, so the process for the release of the band of 600 MHz required both channels to be at frequencies those.

In line with the provisions of the National Radio Spectrum Program 2017-2018, published by the Ministry of Communications and Transportation in September 2017, and the Work Program to reorganize the spectrum for radio and television stations, issued by Ifetel in December 2014, the plenary agreed to approve the requested changes so that the channels are now located in other frequencies, corresponding to channels 17 and 19.

The process of releasing the 600 MHz band is the second digital dividend achieved by Mexico – the first was derived from the analog blackout – and will allow in the future to make available to the market, through bidding, 70 megahertz of radio spectrum for mobile communications.

Through this spectrum, users of mobile services may have faster download speeds, better quality and less response time, among other advantages when browsing the Internet from their devices.

In addition, it advances in the process of having more spectrum available to provide telephony and mobile Internet services, on fifth generation technologies, in accordance with the spectral policy that has allowed the market to have more than double this resource in recent years.