Frequency planning process finalized for DTT transition in Central America and the Caribbean

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018
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ITU meeting finalizes the coordination process for the transition from analog to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) in Central America and the Caribbean region

  • Four multilateral frequency coordination meetings were held over the last 18 months among the Central American and Caribbean countries to facilitate the transition to digital television and enable the release of the Digital Dividend in the UHF band

GENEVA — The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in close collaboration with the Comisión Técnica Regional de Telecomunicaciones (COMTELCA), the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) and the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) finalized the cycle of regional frequency coordination meetings on the use of the VHF (very high frequency) band (174-216 MHz) and the UHF (ultra high frequency) band (470-806 MHz) in Belize City, Belize from 11 to 14 September 2018. This meeting was the final of four meetings that took place in the region over the last 18 months, which established the basis for formal frequency coordination inter-government agreements for broadcasting and mobile services in the VHF and UHF bands.

“The ITU Regional Frequency Coordination Meetings for Central America and Caribbean region which were finalized this month in Belize greatly facilitate the region’s transition from analog to Digital Terrestrial Television in the VHF and UHF bands and the allocation of the Digital Dividend(s) in the UHF band, by ensuring compatible operation between existing radiocommunication services before formal notification of the relevant frequency assignments to ITU,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.

“The Digital Switch Over enables the release of the Digital Dividend, the implementation of which is a major step in reducing the digital divide and probably involves the most important decisions taken by regulators to ensure that mobile broadband is available to all populations at an affordable price,” said François Rancy, Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau. “This is a priority for Central America and Caribbean countries to foster a sustainable development of the region,” he added.

During four days of intense work, participants in the regional meeting were committed to concluding successfully the frequency coordination and minimizing interference problems. The remarkable success of this frequency coordination is reflected by the achieved average percentages around 96% for UHF band and 94% for VHF band of assignable digital TV channels, i.e. the percentage of the frequency requirements which are compatible with each other and with operating analogue and other primary services’ stations.

ITU will keep promoting cooperation among its Member States for the adoption of best practices in spectrum usage to enable the sustainable development of all radiocommunication services by providing long-term assurance for investments in radiocommunication systems.

Around 40 participants from 18 administrations attended the regional meeting.​