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EL SALVADOR

  • "Ley de Telecomunicaciones" - Decreto Legislativo No. 142 del 6 de noviembre de 1997, Diario Oficial No. 218, Tomo 337, 21 noviembre 1997. Text available in Spanish and English, along with more recent amended versions of the law. Article 9 says: 'El espectro radioeléctrico es propiedad del Estado' (The radio spectrum is property of the State.) Spectrum is allocated for official, regulated or free use. Frequencies for free use require no authorization, but technical conditions for spectrum access are set by the Superintendencia General de Electricidad y Telecomunicaciones (SIGET). Article 56 says that the national table of frequency allocations permits bands for regulated and official use to be used by the general public for the operation of radio stations which include very low power transmitters, so long as these do not cause harmful interference to stations that have concessions or authorizations. Article 59 speaks of "free usage bands which require a license" and Article 60 is about "free usage bands which do not require a license."
  • "SIGET Sector Telecomunicaciones: Espectro Radioléctrico" links to "Cuadro Nacional de Atribución de Frecuencias" (the national frequency allocation table). "Dispositivos de baja potencia" (low-power devices) are discussed in Section 11 b: "Dichos dispositivos no necesitan licencia y serán de uso libre, con una potencia efectiva radiada máxima de 100 mW..." (These devices with a maximum effective radiated power of 100 mW do not need a license and will be of free use.) However, WiFi is not in that category:

    "La banda 2,400 - 2,483.5 MHz podrá ser utilizada por la tecnología espectro ensanchado, también denominada 'SPREAD SPECTRUM'... Los equipos que operen en esta banda, así como otras, determinadas por el CNAF, con potencias que no excederán de 1 Vatio a la salida del transmisor, con antenas de ganancia máxima de 6 dBi, es decir que la máxima potencia radiada no excederá de 6 dBVatios (aprox. 3.98 vatios)... Esta banda utilizando esta tecnología es de uso libre... Las bandas de uso libre pueden ser compartidas con bandas de uso Oficial y de uso Regulado... Los importadores, comercializadores, operadores y usuarios que utilicen sistemas con tecnología 'SPREAD SPECTRUM' deberán obtener de la SIGET una licencia, antes de poner en funcionamiento estos sistemas. Dicha licencia se extenderá una vez se haya cumplido el requisito de inscripción en el Registro de la SIGET, del equipo a utilizar. La inscripción procederá, luego de comprobarse que cumpla con las condiciones técnicas establecidas para su funcionamiento...."

    (The band 2,400 - 2,483.5 MHz may be used by spread spectrum technology... The equipment that operates in this band - and others determined by the national allocations table - with powers not exceeding 1 Watt of transmitter output, with maximum antenna gain of 6 dBi - that is to say, maximum radiated power not exceeding 6 dBW (approx 3,98 watts)... Utilizing this technology in this band is of free use. Bands of free use can be shared with Official and Registered users... The importers, commercializers, operators and users who utilize spread spectrum technology in this band must obtain a license from SIGET before putting these systems into operation. This license will come into effect after verification that the equipment fulfills the technical conditions for its function and when it has been inscribed in the SIGET register...)

  • However, the "Global Wireless LAN Policies" table in infoDev's ICT Regulation Toolkit says WiFi in El Salvador is "Free use as long as systems are within power and coverage limitations." Apparently that comes from the ITU's World Telecommunication Regulatory database.
  • "Reforma del Sector Telecomunicaciones - El caso de El Salvador," para Juan José Daboub, powerpoint presentation and video of his lecture (both in Spanish) at a conference on "Convergence or Competition? Radio Spectrum Management in Guatemala and Central America" at Francisco Marroquin University in Guatemala, 9-10 June 2005.
  • El Salvador's approach to spectrum management is "functionally similar" to Guatemala's, according to Wayne Leighton.

Latin America & Caribbean - Regional Overview