Mexico invites all active operators to bid in spectrum auctions

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2018-02-13

Mexico’s regulator Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (IFT) has said that its upcoming spectrum auctions will be open to all interested operators.

IFT stated that it will be auctioning 120MHz of spectrum in the 2500MHz to 2690MHz range. Operators will be able to offer wireless services, including broadband, 5G and IoT, over these airwaves. Bidding will be open from 13th February until the end of the year.

The announcement confirms that America Movil will be able to acquire more spectrum, despite calls from its rivals for the regulator to impose restrictions on the market leader’s participation in the auctions after it obtained additional spectrum last year.

Alejandro Navarrete, the head of spectrum at IFT, said: “In reality nobody, no operator is restricted from participating, but we have determined spectrum caps.” These caps will be set according to the total spectrum currently held by a participating operator.

IFT noted that bidders “must present a guarantee of seriousness of MXN700 million [$37.1 million], which may increase during the bidding process”. Winning bidders would also need to demonstrate that they have the finances to meet certain obligations, including connecting at least 200 localities that currently do not have access to mobile services.

America Movil claims the largest market share in Mexico by a significant amount, with 63%. It is tailed by Telefonica with 24% and AT&T with 14%.

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