Latin American and Caribbean countries take first steps towards regional DTT forum

9 December 2008

Last week saw representatives of telecoms and broadcasting authorities from twelve countries, most of which have not yet adopted a digital terrestrial television (DTT) standard, gathering in Ecuador for the International Digital TV Forum for Latin America and the Caribbean. Meeting in the city of Cuenca on the initiative of the telecommunications regulator in Ecuador and in response to the call made by Superintendente Ing. Fabian Jaramillo, the delegates heard presentations from the representatives of the candidate DTT standards: ATSC (USA), ISDB-T (Japan/Brazil), DTMB (China) and, of course, DVB-T.

DVB was represented by a delegation of fifteen experts, with strategic support from the European Union including Mr. Frederic Mettetal representing the Presidency of the EU and D. Jose Martinez Prada representing the European Commission delegation in Ecuador. The delegation was led by Dr. Helmut Stein, chair of DVB’s Promotions and Communications Module and Dr. Julián Seseña, who coordinates DVB’s activities in Latin America. Also present were representatives of European governments and a range of DVB member companies active in Latin America.

The deliberations of the Forum focused on the need to use common technologies to enhance connectivity in the region as an essential basis for development in all areas, to overcome the digital divide, and to allow universal access to new digital technologies.

The following points were agreed by the participants:

The creation of a Permanent Forum on DTT for Latin America and the Caribbean, to receive official endorsement at the UNASUR meeting this month A summary of the inputs made in Cuenca to be drafted by the Cuban delegation Publication of information related to the proposals of the various standards groups on the website of SUPERTEL in Ecuador Gather information on the methodology used to reach a decision in Colombia (which adopted DVB-T earlier this year), and supply this information to the Forum member countries Meet again in Havana on March 2nd and 3rd 2009.
More information on the agreed statement of the participants in Cuenca and on the event in general can be found here (in Spanish):

Only a few countries in Latin America have formally adopted a DTT standard. Two years ago Brazil adopted ISDB-T, becoming the only country in the world other than Japan to use this standard. Honduras and Mexico adopted ATSC. However, the recent trend in Latin America is towards the adoption of DVB-T as shown by the adoptions by Uruguay (August 2007) and Colombia (August 2008). DVB-T is on air in more than 35 countries and is by far the most widely adopted DTT system.  See DVB Deployment Data.