Three Colombian carriers – Telefónica Móviles Colombia SA (Movistar), Comcel SA and Colombia Móvil (Tigo) – have submitted their relevant application forms formally to participate in the upcoming spectrum auction set for Aug. 10.
The Colombian government plans to auction 30 megahertz of spectrum in the1850-1990 MHz band to be used for land mobile service. The bid will offer six blocks of 5 megahertz. The base price of each will be US$ 15.8 million, and 50% of the amount received will go to bring Internet services to educational institutions nationwide and bring wireless services to remote areas of the country. The other 50% will be invested in different programs of the ICT Ministry.
The auction mechanism, said the ministry, seeks to promote the entry of new operators and the allocation of additional spectrum to existing operators, so that they have the raw material for further operation. The Colombian government expects to allocate over the next three years double the IMT (International Mobile Telecommunications) spectrum that has been allocated in the last 17 years. This may expand coverage and penetration of mobile communications services in the country.
In a statement, ICT Minister Diego Molano Vega said Colombians are demanding more mobile data services. The auction will aid the government’s plan to extend mobile coverage and increase mobile Internet penetration, enabling improved service quality, higher speeds and navigation applications that are more attractive to users.
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