Mexico’s Federal Telecommunications Institute (Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones, IFT) has announced additional details regarding its long-planned auction of spectrum in the 2500MHz-2690MHz (‘2.5GHz’) band. 120MHz of radio spectrum will be made available in six national 20MHz blocks: four paired 2×10MHz FDD blocks and two unpaired 20MHz TDD blocks. The remaining 10MHz will be reserved as ‘guard band’ spectrum. The ‘tender submission procedure’ will commence on 31 July 2018, and the licences should be distributed in November or December this year.
All concessions will be made available for a 20-year period; the minimum reference value (valor minimo de referencia, VMR) for each 20MHz licence has been set at MXN350 million (USD18.7 million). Preference will be given to companies not currently in possession of AWS, PCS or 2.5GHz spectrum, while licence winners will be obliged to provide service in at least 200 of the 557 localities with a population between 1,000 and 5,000 inhabitants, which currently lack a mobile service. In addition, they must deliver connectivity to at least ten of the 13 metropolitan areas with more than one million inhabitants.
Following this tender, Mexico will have 575MHz of radio spectrum available for international mobile telecommunications (IMT), which compares favourably with the 222MHz that was available prior to 2013’s constitutional reform of the telecoms sector.