Mexican telecoms group America Movil expects to launch 5G services in 90% of the countries where it operates during 2020, America Movil’s CEO Daniel Hajj said during a conference call with investors.
“I don’t have a specific date, but all over the year we’re working on a launch. I hope we can do it in the first semester of this year,” Hajj said.
Colombia is the only country where America Movil, which is controlled by the family of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, does not yet have spectrum for the launch of 5G technology, he added. “We hope that the government would speed up that option,” Hajj said.
America Movil operates in at least 10 markets, mainly in Latin America. In Europe, the telco partially owns dutch telco KPN and Austrian operator Telekom Austria.
The company reported that its Q4 net profit more than tripled from the year-ago period, boosted by its sale of its TracFone wireless unit to Verizon Communications. America Movil posted a net profit of 135.6 billion pesos ($6.6 billion), compared with 37.3 billion pesos in the same quarter the previous year.
On November 23, 2021, America Movil completed the sale of TracFone Wireless to Verizon Communications. For this transaction América Móvil received $3.62 billion in cash and 57,596,544 shares of Verizon stock.
America Movil ended 2021 with 287 million wireless subscribers, after net additions of 4.8 million in the fourth quarter.
Hajj had previously said that America Movil was technically ready to launch 5G in Mexico.
Last week, Mexican telecommunications regulator IFT had confirmed that the 5G spectrum auction for mobile services will take place during 2022.
The 5G auction was included in the watchdog’s 2022 work plan, which outlines the bidding process for spectrum blocks in the 600MHz, 3.3GHz and 3.5GHz bands, as well as the L band.
This 5G auction was initially expected to take place in the second half of 2020, but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year, IFT plans to prepare the draft bidding rules that will be submitted to public consultation, as well as the terms and conditions and other relevant aspects, such as the duration of concessions, coverage obligations, participation limitations, allocation mechanisms, causes for disqualification and payments.
America Movil’s rival telco AT&T Mexico had recently announced that it had started the deployment of its 5G network in the country using spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band. The carrier said at the time that it had already connected the first 50 mobile devices to its 5G network.
The initial coverage of AT&T’s 5G network is limited to the Cuauhtémoc and the Napoles districts in Mexico City.
Nicole Rodríguez, VP and CTO at AT&T Mexico said that the telco will deploy 5G in the main markets of the country, starting with the most important cities within the next three years.