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Anatel’s New Frequency Allocation and Destination Plan: Controversies Surrounding Maritime and Aeronautical Satellite Services

por Alessandra

fev 11, 2021

Ericson Scorsim. Lawyer and Consultant in Regulatory Communications Law. Ph.D. in Law from the University of São Paulo (USP).

Anatel is debating a new Frequency Allocation and Destination Plan, based on the decisions of the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference held by the International Telecommunications Union.

There is a dispute over frequency occupation between satellite operators and other telecommunications service providers, the so-called limited private services. As an illustration, the company INMARSAT is questioning the change in the L-band frequency range (frequency blocks of 1492-1560 — MHz) for mobile satellite services (MSS).  The aeronautical and maritime sectors use these mobile satellite services.  These are essential services for civil aviation security and maritime transport services. Thus, INMARSAT has questioned Anatel’s lack of criteria regarding frequency allocation in its manifestation in the public consultation on the frequency allocation plan.

According to the company, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) need mobile satellite services. According to Anatel’s act, the part of the frequency band called L may suffer restrictions for purposes of collective interest land services. Thus, INMARSAT has requested for Anatel to clarify the restrictions applicable to the private limited satellite service. It also noted that mobile satellite services have applications on land, as there are users such as oil and gas platforms, shipping companies, and Internet of Things companies that depend on such services. Therefore, the company requests that Anatel’s technical provisions relating to limited private services do not harm mobile satellite service systems.

Theoretically, Anatel can reallocate the frequency range based on public interest. There is no absolute right of permanence in the same frequency range. However, Anatel must guide its decision according to international standards defined by the International Telecommunications Union, which has the prerogative of harmonizing the allocation of frequencies on a global scale.

In any case, any costs in the reallocation of frequencies resulting from changes by the regulatory agency must be fully reimbursed to the companies eventually harmed by the new spectrum allocation public policy.

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