Unefon reaches spectrum deal with Telcel

25 May 2005

The Mexican cellular operator Unefon has announced that it has transferred 8.4MHz of wireless spectrum to market leader Telcel. Telcel had been leasing the frequencies in the 1900MHz band under a 16-year contract signed in 2003, but according to Dow Jones the two parties have now agreed to cancel that deal and Telcel will take control of the spectrum. The deal leaves Unefon with 21.6MHz of spectrum in the 1900MHz band, while Telcel has 28.4MHz. Telcel is currently in dispute with the country’s competition authority CFC over several 10MHz blocks of 1900MHz spectrum which it won in an auction last month. The CFC ruled that no operator could hold more than 35MHz of spectrum in any one region, but telcos want the limit reset at the previous ceiling of 65MHz. Operators have taken the case to court.

Elsewhere in Mexico, the fixed line operator Axtel has revealed that it is launching a ‘triple play’ package which combines TV, internet and telephony services. Axtel, which has wireline networks in twelve cities, is teaming up with the cable TV operator Cablemas to add television services to its portfolio in the cities where the two companies’ networks overlap. According to BNamericas, Axtel plans to have networks in 30 to 40 cities within three years.