Mexican communications ministry said to have reached deal on return of 2.5GHz spectrum

12 Sep 2013

Mexico’s Secretario de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT) has reportedly reached a basic agreement with those companies which currently hold broadcast spectrum that could be utilised to boost competition in the country’s telecoms markets. According to Reuters, which cites a ministry spokesman as confirming the ‘general’ agreement, some details still need to be settled between the two side, though a final accord is expected to be announced by early next week.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in August 2012 it was reported that expiring licences for spectrum in the 2.5GHz band would not be renewed, with the Mexican government at that date saying that it would seek to reclaim existing concessions in order to allow the frequencies to be refarmed for the deployment of 4G technology. With eleven operators holding a total of 68 concessions in the 2.5 GHz band, the largest loser from the decision looked to be MVS Comunicaciones, which had been embroiled in a long-running dispute with the state over its licences. As far back as October 2009 regulator Cofetel had begun mulling plans to offer spectrum in the 2.5GHz band, stating that 190MHz in the 2.5GHz band held by MVS could be freed up if it did not renew the operator’s licences for that specific frequency. Amid claims by the regulator that the telco was not making full use of the spectrum, MVS countered that it would seek to oppose any such move.

Although it is understood that the percentage of the spectrum held by MVS to be reclaimed under the state’s latest plans has not yet been defined, according to the ministry spokesman, local press reports have claimed that the government will recover just over two-thirds of the company’s allocation.