Mexican regulator assigns GSM spectrum for community use

Mexico’s telecommunications regulator, IFETEL, has published it’s National Frequency Attribution Plan for 2015 and this includes the assignment of prime cellular spectrum for use by community networks.

“For the first time specific bands have been assigned for social use in the telecommunications sector. As part of this, various portions that are available within the segment known as the cellular band, between 824-849 and between 869-894 MHz, are now available for concessioning.

It is proposed that these portions of the spectrum are to be concessioned for the provision of rural connectivity, which could meet the immediate needs of basic telephone service in regions not served by existing licensees.”

Further details of the plan can be found in a Spanish news article.

What this means is that the entire country, with the exception of Mexico City and surrounding states, can now benefit from community networks such as those operated by Rhizomatica, to whom due credit must go for all their efforts and pioneering work under an experimental concessioning scheme, which will have played no small part in bringing about this groundbreaking policy change.

This truly is fantastic news and to the best of our knowledge the first time that community GSM networks have been legislated in a country where they are actually — desperately — needed. We have previously seen similar legislation in the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden, but compare the coverage in those countries to Mexico, where some 50,000 villages, or about 20 million people, are presently without service.

Fairwaves cellular solutions are optimised for rural community networks and are used by Rhizomatica in their deployments.