Q COSTA RICA / The government says it will allocate the 100MHz of 700MHz-band spectrum freed up from the introduction of TVD – Television Digital (digital television) for mobile broadband services.
However, the tender for the the so-called ‘digital dividend’ will not occur until mid-2018 at the earliest, past the end of 2017 completion date for the migration of analogue to TVD, explained the deputy minister of Telecommunications, Edwin Estrada, in an interview with El Financiero.
“It’s a technological breakthrough in the field of television,” said Estrada. “Just as in the 60s and 70s the shift to color television was made, this is another breakthrough that makes technology available to users.”
TDV has many advantages and benefits such as a clearer image, better sound, better coverage in the national territory and greater efficiency in the radio spectrum. “Today the user makes greater use of the Internet and we require more spectrum availability,” Estrada said.
The deadline set for Costa Rica’s switch to digital television is 15 December 2017, although a mid-year assessment could see a postponement.
In the interview, Estrada added that while frequencies may be freed up by the end of the year, the process of allocating them to operators would not occur until after the presidential election and new government in 2018.
The process, after the new government instructs the regulating agency to distribute the spectrum, the Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (Sutel) must conduct a market analysis, which could see the action occur in early 2019.