AM lines up for 3G auction; keen to invest in the north

22 Oct 2007

Mexico-based regional cellular operator America Movil (AM) has confirmed it will take part in the Brazilian government’s auction of 3G spectrum licences this December and will invest heavily in rolling out coverage in northern states in the country. In a conference call on the company’s 3Q 2007 results, AM’s chief executive officer Daniel Hajj said ‘It is very important for us to have enough spectrum so we will participate in Brazil or in any other country offering more spectrum.’

On 19 October, the Brazilian telecoms regulator Anatel finally published the long-awaited bidding rules for the country’s upcoming 3G licence auction. It plans to auction 44 concessions, four for each of Brazil’s eleven telecoms operating areas, and expects to start the process on 18 December. The government hopes to generate at least BRL2.8 billion (USD1.57 billion) from the process to issue licences in the F, G, I and J bands. It is understood that the H band will be auctioned at a later date.

AM’s Brazilian unit Telecom Americas (Claro) is currently rolling out 3G networks in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre and the capital Brasília. Hajj has now said that the company expects to invest more in infrastructure in the north of the country as Claro has recently secured mobile licences in Amazonas, Amapa, Para, Maranhao and Roraima states.