Conatel holds public hearing to finalise mobile broadband auction spectrum blocks

17 May 2011

Venezuelan regulator Conatel is holding public hearings this month to finalise the portions of radio spectrum which will be publicly offered in auctions this year to facilitate the launch of new mobile broadband services including Long Term Evolution (LTE). The public hearing process began in December 2010 and this month Conatel is asking telecoms operators and other industry stakeholders to discuss a Draft Administrative Order which determines the portions of the radio spectrum available and which will be offered publicly. Spectrum to be auctioned may be used for the deployment of mobile telephony services and/or wireless broadband, whilst some portions may be allocated for government usage or to fulfil universal service obligations. The auctions to be launched may include any of the following ranges: 1715MHz-1770MHz; 1810MHz-1875MHz; 1890MHz-1895MHz; 1930MHz-1955MHz; 1970MHz-1975MHz; 2110MHz-2170MHz; and 3400MHz-3600MHz. One of the country’s three cellcos, Movistar Venezuela, has signalled that the regulator needs to allocate new spectrum for the development of 4G LTE services, including ‘low’ frequencies, as it hopes to be able to begin rolling out LTE infrastructure by the end of 2011.