Indotel approves Orange-Tricom merger; Tricom to hand back 30MHz in 1900MHz band

27 Sep 2017

The Dominican Telecommunications Institute (Instituto Dominicano de las Telecomunicaciones, Indotel) has approved the recent merger request submitted by Netherlands-based Altice Group to formally combine its two Dominican Republic telecoms businesses, Orange Dominicana and Tricom. However, in doing so, the watchdog has stipulated that Tricom must hand back the 30MHz block of 1900MHz that it currently uses to support its small-scale CDMA and LTE networks. Conversely, the enlarged entity will be permitted to retain the 850MHz spectrum currently used by Tricom, and Indotel has authorised the transfer of these frequencies to the Altice Hispaniola holding company.

In November 2013 Altice signed an agreement to acquire full-service telco Tricom from Hispaniola Telecom, a company then controlled by Amzak Capital Management and Inversiones Bahia, for USD400 million. Later that month, Altice agreed to buy mobile operator Orange Dominicana from Paris-based Orange Group for EUR1.1 billion (USD1.435 billion). Despite suggestions that the two businesses would be merged with immediate effect, they have continued to trade separately during the ensuing four-year period.