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), organized the second ITU Regional Frequency Coordination Meeting for the Central America and Caribbean Region on the use of the VHF band (174-216 MHz) and the UHF band (470-806 MHz), in Guatemala City, Guatemala from 28 August to 1 September 2017. This meeting was a continuation of a first meeting which took place in Managua, Nicaragua from 8 to 10 March 2017 and established the basis of the frequency coordination for broadcasting and mobile services in the VHF (174-216 MHz) and UHF (470-806 MHz) bands for Central America and the Caribbean region.
"The ITU Regional Frequency Coordination Meeting for the Central America and Caribbean Region successfully served to facilitate the region's important transition from analog to digital television in the VHF and UHF bands and the allocation of the digital dividends 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.
"Around the world, 54 countries have already completed the analog switch-off. The transition from analog to digital broadcasting, in addition to providing much higher quality and a wider contents' offer, enables a much more efficient use of spectrum," said François Rancy, Director of ITU's Radiocommunication Bureau. "This includes the possibility of releasing a part of the UHF band for other uses, which represents the digital dividend," he said.
During five days of intense work by over 40 participants from 17 administrations, significant progress was achieved in regional frequency coordination. In particular, the meeting made further progress in the identification of a choice of frequencies for each country of the region enabling the compatible (interference-free) operation of existing and planned television stations in the UHF band, while the same process was initiated for the VHF band.
As always, ITU will keep promoting best practices in spectrum usage in order to enable the development of broadcasting while protecting other services – and therefore ensuring long-term assurance for investments in radiocommunication systems.
For further information, please visit the meeting's webpage.