Movilnet, Movistar, DirecTV buy LTE licences for USD729m

4 Dec 2014

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has officially announced the award of three 4G LTE-suitable mobile licences to state-owned cellco Movilnet (part of CANTV), and its private sector rival, Movistar Venezuela (part of the Spanish Telefonica group), alongside pay-TV operator DirecTV (which bid in the Venezuelan tender via its subsidiary Galaxy Entertainment). The three companies will enter a 4G market currently occupied solely by Venezuelan-owned cellco Digitel, following the President’s authorisation of their 15-year concessions in the AWS (2100MHz/1700MHz) and 2600MHz bands. According to the announcement on regulator Conatel’s website, the auction raised VEF4.6 billion (USD729 million). The first services under the new licences are expected to be launched by June 2015, while coverage must exceed 70% of the population by 2019.