Categories: Carriers, Global, Networks, Policy

Colombia auctions 25 MHz of spectrum at 1900 MHz $79.9M

After three rounds of bidding and three hours’ time, the ICT Ministry of Colombia auctioned 30 megahertz of spectrum in the 1900 MHz band, of which 25 were assigned. The nation’s three operators — Tigo, Comcel and Movistar — paid US $79.89 million for the spectrum.The auction is one of the measures the government announced as part of its spectrum allocation policy. The ministry is seeking to promote the entry of new operators and allocate more resources for existing operators so that they have the raw material to advance their operations with high-quality service.

Colombia is one of the countries that only allows a certain amount of spectrum to be assigned to each operator. The maximum spectrum allocated to a single operator in the country has been 50 megahertz, which is less than other countries in the region. For example, Brazil allows a single operator to hold 85 megahertz of spectrum, while Mexico tops out at 70 megahertz, and Peru, Uruguay and Chile set the maximum amount at 60 megahertz.

Half of the money raised will be used to fund Information Technology and Communications to further implement the Plan Digital Live and the other 50% will expand coverage to 60 remote locations and connectivity to the Internet in schools.

In order to expand coverage and penetration of communications services, the government over the next three years is expected to allocate twice as much spectrum as it has allocated in the last 17 years. The ICT Ministry, with support from the National Spectrum Agency, published the document “Policy on spectrum allocation for IMT,” which defines the general guidelines for future allocations of the scare resource in the 2,500 MHz, 1700- 2100 MHz (AWS) and the “Digital Dividend” 700 MHz bands in the country.

Band A – bottom (5 MHz): Colombia Movil SA ESP (Tigo)
A-upper band (5MHz) – Communication Celular SA (Comcel)
Band D – top (5 MHz) – Telefonica Moviles Colombia SA (Movistar)
Band E – Complete (10 MHz) – Telefonica Moviles Colombia SA (Movistar)

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