Consumer group calls for suspension of 700MHz tender

3 Feb 2014

The National Corporation for Consumers and Users (Conadecus) has called for Sub-Secretaria de Telecomunicaciones (Subtel) to delay the current 700MHz spectrum auction until the competition watchdog (Tribunal, de Defensa de la Libre Competencia, TDLC) has reached a decision on whether the bidding process allows for free and open competition. Diario Financiero writes that the lobby group argues that the auction does not take into consideration the limit on spectrum per operator to 60MHz, claiming that the 2600MHz tender also ignored the frequency cap. Further, according to Conadecus the rollout requirements of the 700MHz tender are so high that they are ‘impossible to meet for an operator that is not dominant.’ Successful bidders for 700MHz spectrum must provide mobile internet access in 1,281 remote areas. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the nation’s three largest cellcos by subscribers, Movistar, Entel and Claro have submitted offers for the 4G-suitable frequencies to augment their existing 2600MHz holdings and improve the coverage and penetration of Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks.