Competitive access to spectrum resources will result in a thriving fixed and mobile marketplace that can deliver new, innovative services, according to Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA) President Martha Suárez.
Speaking at the TVWS workshop in Buenos Aires, co-organised by the DSA – a global organisation advocating for laws and regulations that will lead to more efficient and effective spectrum utilisation – and the Secretary of Information and Communication Technologies (SeTIC) in Argentina, Suárez highlighted that harnessing spectrum sharing technologies such as TV White Space (TVWS) is key to enabling rural broadband. The workshop explored an overview of the dynamic spectrum technology available, with a with a focus on how this can be best implemented in Argentina and elsewhere, and was attended by a range of industry experts and government delegates.
“Traditional digital inclusion efforts have been tried and they have fallen short of the expectations, with over 4 billion people still left unconnected to broadband,” said Suárez. “By making spectrum abundant for broadband connectivity, the industry will be able to stimulate wireless innovation for next-generation broadband and accelerate an inclusive digital economy.”
Digital inclusion and digital transformation are key to economic growth and societal development, explained Suárez, but they will only be possible with additional innovative, affordable and sustainable connectivity schemes, such as TVWS and other technologies promoted by the DSA.
“Portions of spectrum in the VHF and UHF bands allocated to the broadcasting service are unused in given geographical areas and are known as TVWS. TVWS can be used to provide cost-effective broadband services and Internet of Things connectivity that help drive digital inclusion,” said Suárez. “With a greater coverage area, a greater obstacle penetration in difficult terrain and non-line of sight operation available, TVWS has been proven to provide rural broadband as an effective solution for backhaul, IoT for agriculture and emergency communications.”
With TVWS technology proven and a demand for broadband services growing rapidly, Suárez believes the adoption of TVWS is poised to accelerate.
“DSA principles and techniques are being employed across a range of spectrum bands to improve utilisation,” noted Suárez. “Governments and regulators have a key role to play in realising the full potential of spectrum sharing. The DSA would like to see governments allowing shared access to TVWS spectrum, enable regulatory framework and encourage innovative business models.”
“Spectrum is a limited resource and public policy decisions can either make it scarcer or improve accessibility,” stated Hector Huici, the Secretary of Information and Communication Technologies, SeTIC. “In recent years, science has allowed us to make available more frequencies we have not used before, as well as a making spectrum usage more efficient through re-use. New technologies and regulations will enable a better use of spectrum, as is the case with dynamic assignment.”
Additionally, he announced that a public consultation will soon be published, with a proposal to gradually implement TVWS in Argentina.
At the end of the Workshop, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between DSA and the Argentinian Government Secretariat of Modernization, with the purpose of highlighting mutual areas of interest and promoting the study of dynamic spectrum access and the implementation of regulatory models enabling its application within Argentina. This MoU will facilitate cooperation amongst the parties and support the execution of spectrum sharing projects in Argentina.