Argentine regulator given 45 days to draft spectrum allocation plan

5 Jul 2005

The telecoms ministry of Argentina, SeCom, has given the country’s regulator, the CNC, 45 days to come up with a schedule for Telefónica Móviles Argentina (Movistar) to return over 40MHz of wireless spectrum to the authorities. The spectrum return was a condition of the merger between Telefónica Comunicaciones Personales (Unifón) and Movicom BellSouth Argentina (under the Movistar banner). The merger was given the go-ahead by the state at the end of December 2004, and was completed in January 2005, but SeCom ordered that 42.5MHz of spectrum held by the newly enlarged company be returned within two years and allocated to a new entrant. The clear favourite for receiving the spectrum is cooperative start-up venture Comarcoop (previously Arcom), which is waiting for a frequency allocation in order to launch services. Last week, rival cellco CTI Móvil asked SeCom for an allocation of 10MHz in the 850MHz band to improve its service quality.