Caribbean spectrum management could lower costs for broadband services, says the CTU

The Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) says that once properly managed, licensing the use of spectrum could generate millions of dollars for Caribbean Governments.

As part of its mandate to manage regional coordination in this area of spectrum management, the CTU recently held a Meeting of its Caribbean spectrum management task force coordinate the roll out of the Caribbean spectrum management strategic plan 2018 (CSMSP).

The task force is made up of various government policy officials across the region, regulators, academia, operators and industry players all supported by international experts.

During the meeting the various parties agreed that collaboration would enable regulatory and procedural changes that could result in cost reductions for mobile broadband services. In turn these significant cost reductions will promote the adoption and usage of broadband and the advancement of the region into the digital economy.

The news aligns itself with the CTU’s recent initative to create a single ICT space in the Caribbean. Through the use of wireless communications (enabled by spectrum use), The Union says that broadband development is vital to creating an ICT borderless space that will strengthen economic competitiveness and promote sustainable development.

Speaking on the event, Bernadette Lewis, secretary general of the CTU, said: “To build a regionally cohesive, technically efficient and sustainable spectrum management regime that proactively meets the region’s requirements for broadband and socio-economic development and supports the establishment of a single ICT space in the Caribbean.”

The outcome of the meeting has yet to decided, though part of the agenda was to establish an action plan for 2018 for the Caribbean spectrum management strategic plan which should come to light over the coming months.

Of the thirty-five participants, attendees of the meeting include: the International Telecommunications Union, Inter-American Telecommunication Commission, Federal Communications Commission, GSM Association, University of the West Indies and the International Amateur Radio Union.

The GSMA has claimed spectrum policies in Latin America are having an impact on the quality of mobile services in the region. In its report "Effective Spectrum Pricing in Latin America: "Policies to support better quality and more affordable mobile services", the GSMA looked at pricing of spectrum across 15 countries in Latin America. It found pricing decisions by regulators can have a negative impact on mobile deployments and quality of service.