Cofetel delays 3G and WiMAX sale due to economic climate

13 Oct 2008

BNamericas is reporting that the Mexican telecoms regulator, Cofetel, will further delay the auctions for WiMAX and 3G spectrum to the beginning of 2009, citing reports from local press. The decision is understood to have been taken due to the troubled global economic situation, with Cofetel board member Jose Luis Peralta noting, ‘It is better to hold them back until the first quarter of 2009 in order to avoid spectrum being awarded but lying unused due to concessionaires lacking the liquidity to deploy the infrastructure.’ Peralta also claimed that several operators had requested the auctions be postponed. Cofetel has stated that it expects to raise approximately USD1 billion from licence payments when the auctions do proceed, and the regulator still intends to offer 3G and WiMAX licences separately as it believes that it will encourage maximum interest in both auctions; Cofetel plans to auction 3G spectrum in the 1.9GHz and 1.7GHz-2.1 GHz bands and WiMAX in the 3.4GHz-3.7 GHz bands.