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Argentina to auction spectrum bands for LTE

Argentina’s federal government is planning to auction spectrum bands next year that will allow carriers to deploy LTE, according to local news reports, citing the planning minister Julio de Vido. The spectrum to be auctioned is 1700–2100 MHz (AWS).

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Vido also said in an interview with television channel C5N that the government will probably keep an “important” quantity of that spectrum. Arsat, the state-owned satellite operator, would likely obtain a significant amount of LTE spectrum.

Argentinia’s spectrum allotment has been the subject of controversy. In September, the Argentinian government canceled its plans to auction wireless spectrum and instead allocated 25% of the 3G spectrum to Arsat. To justify the move, the government said it would prevent the creation of a monopoly.

Meanwhile, carriers have been asking the government to free up more spectrum so they can meet the increasing demand for bandwidth-intensive data services. Operators want the additional spectrum to improve their service quality.

As noted by Marceli Passoni, research analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, in her latest Analyst Angle column, despite the spectrum auction delay, the government’s granting of spectrum to ArSat was a setback for the mobile operators that had been waiting for seven years to acquire the spectrum that was taken back from Movistar after its acquisition of Movicom BellSouth in 2005.

“Claro, Personal and Movistar were considering launching 4G services using the spectrum granted to ArSat. Now, the limited spectrum cap and lack of new technologies will challenge mobile operators’ ability to deliver high quality services while at the same time coping with the ever growing demand for data services,” she wrote.

Even more emphatic on the subject, Jose F. Otero, president of Signals Telecom Group, said in a previous Analyst Angle column that “Argentina continues to be the only country in Latin America with a telecommunications law written in 1972.”


Roberta Prescott
Roberta Prescott
Editor, [email protected] Roberta Prescott is responsible for Latin America reporting news and analysis, interviewing key stakeholders. Roberta has worked as an IT and telecommunication journalist since March 2005, when she started as a reporter with InformationWeek Brasil magazine and its website IT Web. In July 2006, Prescott was promoted to be the editor-in-chief, and, beyond the magazine and website, was in charge for all ICT products, such as IT events and CIO awards. In mid-2010, she was promoted to the position of executive editor, with responsibility for all the editorial products and content of IT Mídia. Prescott has worked as a journalist since 1998 and has three journalism prizes. In 2009, she won, along with InformationWeek Brasil team, the press prize 11th Prêmio Imprensa Embratel. In 2008, she won the 7th Unisys Journalism Prize and in 2006 was the editor-in-chief when InformationWeek Brasil won the 20th media award Prêmio Veículos de Comunicação. She graduated in Journalism by the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas, has done specialization in journalism at the Universidad de Navarra (Spain, 2003) and Master in Journalism at IICS – Universidad de Navarra (Brazil, 2010) and MBA – Executive Education at the Getulio Vargas Foundation.

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