Latin America. Various government policies and initiatives of Universal Service in Latin America have achieved an increase in the penetration of telecommunications services and the subsequent reduction of the digital divide, especially in what refers to basic connectivity, according to the report Universal Service and 4G in Latin America: Current State and main challenges published by 5G Americas.
However, the study emphasizes that it is necessary to continue this line of work with more aggressive policies that allow the allocation of resources both to the demand and the supply of these services, depending on the reality of each country in the region.
Universal Service is conceived as a set of policies that focus on promoting or maintaining the universal connectivity of all households to public network facilities and services at reasonable prices, under the principle that all citizens must have access to telecommunications services. According to the study, these initiatives will play a key role in reducing the digital divide between the demographics of a specific country, and will directly influence the development of the region through the creation of employment, new businesses, increase in GDP , among others.
In Latin America, the principle that encompasses the Universal Service is in use and in most of the countries analyzed there is some formal definition and established in the Law that involves the concept of Universal Service, universal access or universal coverage. There are also other countries that, although they have not defined service or universal access, have clear and established programs that seek the universalization of telecommunications services and the reduction of the digital divide, through the joint action of private entities and the State.
In cases where the offer for telecommunications services has been encouraged in very isolated areas of the territory, the existence of connectivity of both telephone services and access to the Internet can be appreciated. In many cases, they also have fourth-generation technologies, through the services provided, for example, thanks to recent assignments of 700 MHz and 2.600 MHz and the rapid deployment that has been made in some countries.
The white paper also points out the need for governments, understanding all the benefits associated with telecommunications, to facilitate and relax certain restrictions that operators face today to comply with these obligations, such as universal spectrum licenses that allow for the provision of multiple services in a given area -understanding the convergence of services-, tax benefits and regulatory certainty.
To download the Universal Service and 4G report in Latin America: Current Status and main challenges published by 5G Americas, Click here.