AT&T won the majority of 2.5GHz spectrum available in Mexico’s latest auction, though rival Telefonica also walked away from the proceeding with new airwaves in hand.
The US operator claimed 80MHz of spectrum, agreeing to pay MXN1.4 billion ($76 million) as part of a bid which will increase its spectrum holdings in the country by 13 per cent. Specifically, AT&T secured two 20MHz blocks of FDD and two 20MHz blocks of TDD spectrum.
Mexican regulator IFT said AT&T now holds around a third of all spectrum available for international mobile telecommunications in the country (see chart, left, click to enlarge). It also possesses licences in the 800MHz, 850MHz, PCS and AWS bands.
AT&T CFO John Stephens told an investor conference the operator will fund the purchase with money from its own recent spectrum sales and a pending offloading of data centres to Brookfield Infrastructure Partners.
Telefonica scooped up the remaining 40MHz of the total 120MHz on offer, with a bid of MXN700 million for two blocks of FDD spectrum. It now holds around 17 per cent of spectrum available across all bands in the country, IFT said.
AT&T and Telefonica were the only two bidders in the auction, as other domestic telecommunications players including America Movil and Altan Redes sat out the proceeding.
IFT predicted AT&T and Telefonica’s licences would generate a total of MXN44.4 billion over their 20-year term, inclusive of the bids and annual fees. The operators will be required to provide mobile services to at least 200 locations currently lacking access and to cover a minimum of ten metropolitan areas with populations of more than 1 million people.