The proposed merger of Une-EPM and Tigo Colombia could delay the regulator’s 4G auction plans, telecoms minister Deigo Vega was quoted by La Republica as saying. The two operators hold a combined total of 105MHz of spectrum, exceeding the national limit of 85MHz. For the merger to go ahead, the duo would be required to return 20MHz of spectrum as a condition of the tie-up and in order to compete in the upcoming 4G auction would need to return even more. As previously noted by CommsUpdate, Millicom International Cellular (MIC) announced last week that it begun negotiations with Une-EPM over combining Tigo Colombia and Une-EPM; EPM currently holds a 25% stake in Tigo Colombia, and has worked alongside MIC since its entrance into the venture in 2006. The proposals highlighted the complementary nature of Une-EPM and Tigo Colombia’s respective portfolios and geographic presence.
In related news, Pre-paid MVNO writes that Colombian retailer Grupo Exito is set to commercially launch its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) arm in March this year and will operate over Tigo Colombia’s network.