Mobile tender still on schedule, only one confirmed bidder

15 Oct 2010

In the wake of the Costa Rican Comptroller General’s Office demand to telecoms regulator Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (Sutel) to correct its written guidelines for the liberalisation of Costa Rica’s mobile market on 7 October, Sutel has confirmed that the auction remains on track and will start on 5 November.

Despite reports in the regional press that 31 parties have purchased tender documents from the regulator, so far America Movil (AM) is the only company to have confirmed its interest in participating in the auction. However, it is widely believed that Cable & Wireless, Millicom International Cellular (MIC), Digicel and Telefonica of Spain are also likely to be among the final participants.

Sutel is offering three mobile licences with spectrum blocks in the 850MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands. Sutel has said the cost of each licence will be USD70 million, the proceeds of which will go to the universal services fund Fonatel. Technical offers will be considered first, after which prequalified companies will proceed to a second round. The licences will then be awarded to the highest bidders.