Conatel to hold an additional auction for one block of 700MHz spectrum

19 Dec 2017

Paraguay’s National Telecommunications Council (Consejo Nacional de Telecomunicaciones, Conatel) has confirmed that three of the country’s four mobile operators – Claro, Tigo and Personal – have pre-qualified for the award of 700MHz spectrum, Ultima Hora writes. As the trio have all submitted equal bids for the same sub-band, the regulator will now hold an auction for the block, with the tender scheduled to be held in early 2018. Conatel’s president Teresita Palacios highlighted: ‘This is something historic for Conatel because there was never an auction, that’s why we are very attentive to this event.’

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Conatel offered seven 2×5MHz paired frequency blocks for sale with a reserve price of USD12 million each. The spectrum blocks have been divided as follows:

• Block C: 713MHz-718MHz/768MHz-773MHz

• Block D: 718MHz-723MHz/773MHz-778MHz

• Block E: 723MHz-728MHz/778MHz-783MHz

• Block F: 728MHz-733MHz/783MHz-788MHz

• Block G: 733MHz-738MHz/788MHz-793MHz

• Block H: 738MHz-743MHz/793MHz-798MHz

• Block I: 743MHz-748MHz/798MHz-803MHz.

The watchdog stipulated a 700MHz spectrum cap of 40MHz (2×20MHz) for all participating companies, while Conatel’s president noted that winning bidders will be expected to extend services to underserved rural areas – initially in Alto Parana, Itapua, Caaguazu and Amambay – via the construction of new telecentres, as part of the licensing conditions.