Televisa/Nextel joint venture wins nationwide 1700MHz licence

17 Aug 2010

Mexican telecoms regulator the Comision Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Cofetel) has announced the closure of its auction of a nationwide concession for spectrum in the 1700MHz band, the Wall Street Journal reports. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, last month it had been confirmed that the joint venture between local media giant Grupo Televisa and Nextel Mexico, a unit of NII Holdings, was the sole bidder for the pan-Mexico licence, having offered the minimum bid of MXN180.3 million (USD14.1 million) for 30MHz in the 1710MHz to 2170MHz band in each of the country’s nine mobile operating regions. Spectrum caps and other conditions imposed on the sale by the Federal Competition Commission (Cofeco) meant that Cofetel subsequently annulled the sale of a second nationwide licence. The Televisa/Nextel JV now has 45 days to make full payment for the concessions, while it will also have to pay a further MXN18.13 billion over the 20-year licence period.

The sale process also saw the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, Telcel, bag 21 10MHz blocks across all operating regions, for a total of MXN16.49 billion (MXN3.79 billion upfront and a further MXN12.7 billion over the duration of the 20-year licence period). Movistar, the local subsidiary of Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica , meanwhile won six 10MHz blocks in six of the nine mobile regions, paying MX6.7 billion (MXN1.27 billion in advance followed by a further MXN5.43 billion).

The Mexican authorities completed a separate auction for frequencies in the 1900MHz band in July 2010, with the combined bids for that spectrum reaching MXN2.98 billion; Telefonica bid MXN2.76 billion for 30MHz of spectrum in the Mexico City area, while it also committed a further MXN100 million for additional frequencies in other areas of the country, acquiring 14 10MHz blocks of spectrum in total. Mobile operator Iusacell meanwhile submitted the highest bids for blocks of spectrum in most other areas of the country, offering a total of MXN65.4 million for nine 10MHz blocks, while the NII/Televisa pairing paid MXN48.3 million for one 10MHz block.