Secom, Argentina’s telecoms ministry, pronounced itself satisfied with the result of an auction of 3G and 4G spectrum that raised in excess of $2 billion.

The bids were 14 per cent above the minimum price of $1.97 billion set by the government.

Secom also confirmed that the four prequalified bidders —Telefonica’s Movistar, America Movil-controlled Claro, Personal (Telecom Argentina) as well as Airlink — were all active in the bidding.

Details of the auction result, such as who won the various frequency blocks on offer, will be released by the government later this month.

4G licences were available nationwide in the AWS (1.7GHz/2.1GHz) and 700MHz frequency bands. Winners must guarantee they will cover major cities, corridors, towns and all localities with more than 500 inhabitants within five years of the licence award.

The 3G spectrum is in the 1.9GHz and 850MHz frequency bands. 3G licences are to be divided into three areas: north, south and Buenos Aires.

Both 3G and 4G licences last 15 years.