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Mexico to open 2.5GHz band to all operators, approves conditions

Friday 9 February 2018 | 15:44 CET | News

Mexico's Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) has finally approved the conditions of the much-delayed tender for spectrum in the 2.5GHz band, with all operators, including America Movil’s Telcel, invited to participate. The regulator will auction a total of 120 MHz of spectrum in the 2500-2690 MHz frequency band, divided into six national 20MHz blocks in 20-year concessions. The minimum value of each block will be MXN 350 million and a further 10MHz will be reserved as “guard band” spectrum. The initial declarations of interest are due from 13 February to 01 June, with final bids due from 31 July and the award of spectrum to the successful bidders scheduled for November to December 2018.

The watchdog initially planned to hold the auction in the second half of 2016 but pushed back the process to increase participation following the completion of the shared network tender at the start of 2017. The head of spectrum at the IFT, Alejandro Navarrete, subsequently confirmed that the tender is open to all operators, even those who already have a slice of the band. “In reality nobody, no operator is restricted a priori from participating, but effectively we have determined spectrum caps,” said Navarrete, according to Reuters. He added that the caps would be determined by the amount of spectrum the operators already have.

Telcel (America Movil) already owns spectrum in the 2.5GHz band after it acquired around 60MHz from media company MVS Communicaciones last year but rival companies Telefonica, AT&T, Totalplay, Cablevision and Axtel have called for strict limits to be placed on its participation in the forthcoming tender.



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