Paraguay’s National Telecommunications Council (Consejo Nacional de Telecomunicaciones, Conatel) has confirmed that Tigo and Claro have been formally awarded 1700MHz/2100MHz 4G licences. Earlier this month the watchdog revealed that the incumbent duo were the only Paraguayan operators to register applications ahead of the auction, with Telecom Personal (Nucleo) – the country’s second largest cellco by subscribers – opting not to participate in the process.
The two licences generated a total of USD90 million, Conatel noted in its press release, suggesting that Tigo and Claro both secured their maximum spectrum allowance. As per the bidding conditions, twelve paired 2×5MHz AWS sub-bands went under the hammer, with minimum bids set at USD15 million per paired spectrum block. The maximum spectrum allowance each carrier could be assigned was set at 30MHz. Going forward, Conatel anticipates that the frequency holders will be in a position to launch commercial services by August 2016.
State-backed mobile operator Hola Paraguay (Vox) was also conspicuous by its absence from the process; the cellco activated its own 4G network back in December 2012, utilising unused 3G spectrum secured back in August 2008.