Mexican regulator Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) said it will delay a planned spectrum auction to next year, in a bid to generate more competition.

In a statement, the regulator said it was postponing bidding for spectrum in the 2.5GHz band, initially planned to start in the second half of this year, to the third quarter of 2017. Meanwhile, the implementation process is now expected to complete in Q2 2018, it added.

IFT said the change “will allow for greater competition in the bidding process” by waiting for an ongoing wholesale network tender in the country to complete.

The ‘Shared Network’ auction, which is for freed up spectrum in the 700MHz band for 4G, has seen numerous delays since the process commenced at the start of this year, and is now scheduled to end in January 2017.

The regulator said it would begin planning for the bidding process for its upcoming auction this year, including the amount of spectrum it will make available to the market, the type of blocks (national and regional) and the amount of crossover there will be from the ongoing wholesale spectrum tender.

In 2012, the Mexican regulator said it was reclaiming spectrum in the 2.5GHz band from 11 companies, after a failure from a number of players to develop high-speed networks from the spectrum, reported Reuters.