Indonesia and Chile are to both auction-off new 3G spectrum in the next few months, it has emerged this week. In the case of Indonesia, it is the second time the government has offered the frequencies up for auction after an earlier tender led to only one local operator – market-leader Telkomsel – meeting the government’s reserve price of IDR160 billion (US$14.24 million), However, according to local newspaper Antara, the government is now planning to auction-off an additional 5MHz of spectrum later this month to meet growing demand for 3G services. New bidders are expected to include PT Indosat and Excelcomindo, two existing operators that failed to meet the government’s reserve price in the earlier auction.
Meanwhile, Telegeography reports this week that the Chilean regulator, Subtel, has published details of a tender for 3G licenses to be held in July. Three blocks of 30MHz spectrum in the 1700MHz/2100MHz frequency band will be available. Under the rules of the auction, if any of the incumbent 2G mobile operators win a 3G license and the allocation causes them to exceed the 60MHz limit, they must agree to dispose of the excess spectrum. The 3G licenses will be awarded on 15 July.