Mexico’s Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT) will next year stage an auction of radio frequencies suitable for 4G — a further move that could shake the dominance of market leader Telcel.
The regulator will sell off 60 MHz of frequencies in bands between 1.71GHz and 2.17GHz during 2015, although it did not reveal the exact timing.
It is the country’s first spectrum sell-off in five years.
The proposed sale follows on the heels of IFT’s approval of AT&T’s $1.7 billion purchase of smaller operator Iusacell. The deal was approved with conditions.
The entry of AT&T into the market is another move that potentially increases the threat to Telcel’s position.
IFT has already designated Telecel as being a dominant force in the country’s mobile market. And yesterday, it launched a further probe into which operators hold substantial market power across a range of services, both nationally and at state, regional or local levels.
In addition to selling off 4G suitable frequencies, the IFT said it intends to auction 10MHz of spectrum in the 440-450MHz range to boost capacity for private radio communication systems.
In addition, it wants to sell frequencies between 824MHz and 894MHz that can be used for improving basic connectivity for rural communities.