Mexico’s telecoms regulator indicated a long-awaited auction of 5G licences is due to take place in 2022, after it was added to the work programme for the coming twelve months.

The Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (IFT) said its Programa Anual de Trabajo 2022 includes plans to auction off 5G-enabling frequencies in the 600MHz, 3.3GHz and 3.5GHz bands,along with the L band (1500MHz range).

An auction was expected to take place in the second half of 2020, but was delayed by Covid-19 (coronavirus). In December 2021, AT&T Mexico pressed ahead with the launch of 5G services, reportedly using its existing licence in the 2.5GHz band.

The IFT will no doubt be hoping the 5G tender will be more successful than an auction of unused 4G frequencies conducted in October 2021. At the time, only AT&T Mexico and Telcel submitted bids, picking up 800MHz and 2.5GHz frequencies respectively. Blocks in the 1700MHz/2100MHz and 1900MHz bands, as well as other 800MHz allocations, went unsold.