Newly created Colombian mobile operator Colombia Móvil has won a package of three regional operating licences in the county’s latest licence auction. The new cellco was the only participant in the tender after heavyweights Telefónica and Telecom Italia, which had at one time shown an interest in bidding, pulled out of the process. Colombia Móvil paid the government’s asking price of USD56 million for the licences; according to the operator the concessions had been valued at USD150 million two years ago. The cellco hopes to launch services by the end of this year and will invest USD500 million into its networks and services by the end of 2005. It will compete with Colombia’s two existing mobile operators, BellSouth and América Móvil subsidiary Comcel, both of which were barred from participating in the auction.