A Information to Latin America’s Upcoming Spectrum Auctions

In sharp distinction to different areas, solely a handful of Latin American telecom markets have seen 5G launch exercise to this point, with notable examples together with the likes of Brazil and Chile.

Nonetheless, various eagerly awaited 5G spectrum auctions are anticipated to happen within the area within the coming months.

Right now we take a more in-depth take a look at the LatAm markets the place we are able to anticipate to witness 5G public sale exercise earlier than the tip of the yr. 


Proposed Public sale Date: Summer time 2023 (TBC)
Obtainable Spectrum: 1500MHz, AWS-3 band, 2.3GHz, 3.5GHz, 26GHz, and 38GHz

After a sequence of delays, Argentina’s multi-band 5G spectrum public sale may now get underway as early as this month. The brand new timeline was revealed by Gustavo Lopez, Vice President of the Nationwide Communications Company, on the Might 2023 Web Day occasion in Buenos Aires.

The 5G public sale is anticipated to incorporate the next frequency bands: 1427MHz-1518MHz (1500MHz band); 1770MHz-1780MHz/2170MHz-2180MHz (AWS-3 band); 2300MHz-2400MHz (2.3GHz band); 3.3GHz-3.6GHz (3.5GHz); 24.25GHz-25.75GHz (26GHz band); and 37GHz-43.5GHz (38GHz band).

As per authorities projections, the public sale may increase as a lot as $1.4 billion.


Proposed Public sale Date: December 20, 2023
Obtainable Spectrum: 700MHz, 1900MHz, 2.5GHz, 3.5GHz, and 26GHz

On the finish of 2022, Colombia’s Ministry of Info Applied sciences and Communications (MinTIC) revealed {that a} complete of 9 firms had expressed an curiosity in securing 5G spectrum licenses forward of its December 29, 2022 deadline.

The record included established cellular gamers equivalent to Claro, Tigo, Movistar, Empresa De Telecomuncaciones De Bogota, and Companions Telecom Colombia, alongside unknown portions like Colombia WB Hots, World Play, EGC Colombia, and OSC Prime Options Group.

The federal government is poised to distribute spectrum within the 700MHz, 1900MHz, 2.5GHz, 3.5GHz, and 26GHz bands, though MinTIC harassed that not all would-be candidates are fascinated by bidding on all bands.

In June 2023, MinTIC introduced that the multi-band spectrum public sale will start on December 20, 2023.

The watchdog says it’ll publish a decision setting out the technical circumstances and authorized necessities for participation in August 2023. The reserve worth, obligations, and ensures can be revealed the next month.

MinTIC has set a tentative November 10 date for purposes.

Costa Rica

Proposed Public sale Date: H2 2023
Obtainable Spectrum: 2.6GHz, 3.5GHz

In Might 2023, Costa Rica’s Ministry of Science, Know-how and Telecommunications (MICITT) formally instructed the Superintendency of Telecommunications (Sutel) to provoke the nation’s 5G public sale course of. The choice was included within the Official Gazette on Might 2, 2023, by way of Government Settlement No. 031-2023-TEL-MICITT.

Sutel was positioned accountable for staging a public session, establishing eligible bidders, and operating the tender course of.

Whereas the 5G public sale will mainly comprise spectrum within the 3.5GHz band, frequencies within the 2600MHz band may be included within the spectrum sale. The public sale is earmarked to happen within the second half of 2023.

Dominican Republic

Proposed Public sale Date: H2 2023
Obtainable Spectrum: 700MHz

Additionally in Might 2023, the Dominican Telecommunications Institute (Indotel) introduced plans to stage an public sale of unused 700MHz frequencies. The tender can be launched within the coming months, with the public sale course of anticipated to conclude originally of 2024.

The 700MHz frequencies had been initially included in 2021’s 5G spectrum public sale, alongside 3.5GHz airwaves, however failed to draw any bids. 9 2×5MHz blocks of 700MHz spectrum had been included within the unique tender.

Final yr, Indotel Government Director Julissa Cruz admitted that the duty to supply native roaming entry to rival operators not in possession of low-band spectrum for 3 years was the important thing think about dissuading the nation’s cellcos to bid the primary time round, hinting that the unique phrases would now be revised.

Different, as-yet-unspecified spectrum blocks may additionally go below the hammer.

As famous by Indotel: “The administration … has targeted on the reorganization of disused radio spectrum, in order that it may be used to enhance the protection of the companies supplied by the suppliers within the nationwide territory … In the identical sense, they’ve taken concrete measures, such because the closure of greater than 50 stations that had been working illegally, the restoration of idle spectrum and the cleansing up of radio communication bands.”


Proposed Public sale Date: H2 2023
Obtainable Spectrum: 600MHz, 1500MHz, and three.3GHz

Mexico’s deliberate 5G public sale has already generated loads of controversy—regardless of the truth that a date hasn’t even been set for the spectrum sale.

Mexico’s deliberate 5G public sale has already generated loads of controversy—regardless of the truth that a date hasn’t even been set for the spectrum sale.

In Mexico, profitable bidders pay an upfront charge in addition to an annual frequency utilization charge all through the concession. With licenses usually legitimate for 20 years, the costs of the licenses are far increased than the equal concessions in different markets.

In October 2022, Alejandro Navarrete Torres, Head of the Radio Spectrum Unit on the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT), noticed that the price of spectrum in Mexico is “as much as 186% increased than the worldwide common.”

The principle 5G spectrum bands scheduled for inclusion within the IFT’s public sale are: a 70MHz block within the 614MHz-698MHz (600MHz) band, a 50MHz block at 3300MHz-3350MHz, and 90MHz within the L-band (1427MHz-1518MHz).

The IFT can also be weighing up the potential inclusion of unused spectrum in various different bands, together with 800MHz, 850MHz, 1900MHz, AWS, and a couple of.5GHz frequencies—a few of which had been relinquished by Movistar in 2020.

Nonetheless, as issues stand, America Movil-backed Telcel could possibly be the one Mexican cellco to take part within the spectrum public sale, with business insiders tipping each AT&T and Movistar to take a seat out the method on price grounds.


Proposed Public sale Date: TBC
Obtainable Spectrum: 3.5GHz

In November 2022, the Nicaraguan Institute for Telecommunications and Posts (Telcor) outlined plans to make the most of the three.5GHz band to assist the nation’s future 5G ambitions.

As per Administrative Settlement No. 002-2022—which appeared within the nation’s Official Gazette on November 24, 2022—the watchdog has reserved the 3300MHz-3400MHz, 3400MHz-3600MHz, and 3600MHz-3700MHz bands for the availability of 5G companies.

Telcor noticed that the presently awarded spectrum holdings within the 3.5GHz band—believed to comprise a 50MHz block held by Claro—are “not technically sufficient to fulfill the bandwidth specs” of 5G. Which means that a reorganization will happen earlier than any new concessions are distributed.

The introduction of 5G kinds a part of the federal government’s “Nationwide Plan to Combat Poverty and for Human Growth 2022-2026.”

Nicaraguan spectrum auctions are one thing of a rarity. The final notable one occurred a full decade in the past.

Nicaraguan spectrum auctions are one thing of a rarity. The final notable one occurred a full decade in the past—in 2012/2013, when Beijing-based analysis and improvement agency Xinwei Telecom Enterprise Group snagged a 1785MHz-1805MHz license.

On that event, the worth of the concession was understood to have been slashed from $90 million to $20 million.


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