Grupo Salinas claims Telmex and Nextel are not using 3.5GHz spectrum

14 Oct 2011

Grupo Salinas, the parent company of alternative Mexican telecoms provider Iusacell, is planning to request that the Secretario de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT) revoke concessions for spectrum in the 3.5GHz band held by both Telefonos de Mexico (Telmex) and Nextel. Grupo Salinas, according to El Universal, has claimed that neither Telmex nor Nextel has launched commercial services using the frequencies as stipulated by the terms of the licences, with Luis Nino de Rivera, a spokesman for the group cited as saying: ‘The obligation of all licensees is to launch the service within 180 days after having received the concession, and they [Nextel and Telmex] have been speculating and hoarding a public good for over five years.’

In response, Telmex spokesman Arturo Elias Ayub said that his company was, in fact, using the assigned spectrum to cover rural regions, while Nextel too has claimed that the spectrum is in use, with the operator stating that the frequencies are used for elements including data transmission, access to its telephone network and the connection of rural schools. Further, Nextel said that the Comision Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Cofetel) had made a number of inspection visits to ensure the spectrum was being used in line with the terms of the concession, noting that the last visit verifying this to be the case was conducted in mid-2011.