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.