Ifetel hands 4G concessions to AT&T, Telcel

1 Jun 2016

Mexico’s Federal Telecommunications Institute (Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones, Ifetel) has confirmed that it has formally handed over the Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum blocks that were awarded to America Movil (AM)-backed Telcel (registered as Radiomovil Dipsa) and AT&T Mexico (registered as AT&T Comunicaciones Digitales), in February this year.

AT&T initially bid on paired AWS-1 spectrum in the 1730MHz-1755MHz/2130MHz-2155MHz bands, while Telcel was allocated spectrum at 1710MHz-1730MHz/2110MHz-2130MHz, as well as AWS-3 spectrum in the 1760MHz-1780MHz/2160MHz-2180MHz bands. On 17 May, however, Telecel requested permission to swap its AWS-3 spectrum with its rival’s allocation, in order to secure contiguous blocks of spectrum in the 1710MHz-1755MHz and 2110MHz-2155MHz bands. This request was approved on 25 May, in an extraordinary session, as it is perceived to encourage more efficient use of the resources.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpate, the full cost of the concessions will be spread over the course of the licences’ 15-year lifespans, while initial payments have been set at MXN2.1 billion (USD117.4 million) for Telcel and MXN1.0 billion for AT&T. In total, the process will generate MXN43.7 billion for the Mexican government, of which Telcel will pay MXN31.0 billion and AT&T MXN12.7 billion.