Altice appeals against Viva’s ‘irregular spectrum use’

8 Sep 2017

The Dominican Institute of Telecommunications (Instituto Dominicano de las Telecomunicaciones, Indotel) has confirmed that it has accepted an appeal filed by Altice Group – which owns local operators Orange and Tricom – seeking an ‘administrative sanction’ against smaller rival Viva Dominica for alleged ‘irregular use of spectrum’. Indotel president Jose Del Castillo Savinon noted that the process will be carried out in accordance with the terms of the General Telecommunications Law No. 153-98, adding that the watchdog’s board of directors has a 60-day window within which to implement sanctions.

According to local news site Acento, the dispute relates to the use of 4G LTE terminology in Viva’s marketing material in recent months, with Altice questioning the legitimacy of the smaller operator’s claims. The main bone of contention is the fact that Viva did not participate in Indotel’s 2014 spectrum auction, in which Orange and market leader Claro paid a total of DOP3 billion (USD70.5 million) for 1700MHz/2100MHz (Claro) and 900MHz (Orange) frequencies.

Last month, Viva selected Ericsson to take charge of its 4X4 multiple-input, multiple-output (4×4x MIMO) 4G upgrade in the Dominican Republic. Viva claims that the 4×4 MIMO deployment will increase spectral efficiency by delivering up to twice the downlink data rate without the need for additional spectrum.