Mexico’s Federal Telecommunications Institute (Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones, IFT) has confirmed that it has issued ‘participation certificates’ to the two parties that have registered an interest in bidding in its long-planned auction of spectrum in the 2500MHz-2690MHz (‘2.5GHz’) band. The ‘tender submission procedure’ will commence on 31 July 2018, and bids must be registered by 8 August. The licenses are expected to be distributed in November or December this year.
It is understood that Movistar Mexico and AT&T Mexico are the unnamed bidders, after market leader Telcel acquired 60MHz of 2.5GHz frequencies via the secondary spectrum market in July 2017. The spectrum was acquired from Grupo MVS and covers 1,575 localities, equivalent to coverage of 75.41% of the national population.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, 120MHz of radio spectrum will be made available in six national 20MHz blocks: four paired 2×10MHz FDD blocks and two unpaired 20MHz TDD blocks. The remaining 10MHz will be reserved as ‘guard band’ spectrum. All concessions will be issued for a 20-year period; the minimum reference value (valor minimo de referencia, VMR) for each 20MHz license has been set at MXN350 million (USD18.7 million). License winners will be obliged to provide service in at least 200 of the 557 localities with a population between 1,000 and 5,000 inhabitants, which currently lack a mobile service. In addition, they must deliver connectivity to at least ten of the 13 metropolitan areas with more than one million inhabitants.