Peru’s Ministry of Transport and Communications (Ministerio de Transportes y Comunicaciones, MTC) is reviewing the legal validity if of the allocation of 2.5GHz band spectrum to Bitel, assigned to the Vietnamese-backed cellco in December last year. In a statement from the ministry, Deputy Minister Nakagawa was cited as saying that opinions on the matter had been sought from the regulator – the Supervisory Agency for Private Investment in Telecommunications (Organismo Supervisor de Inversion Privada en Telecommuniciones, Osiptel) – as well as two external legal advisers, adding that the process was expected to take around two months. The official went on to state: ‘If the resolution of the procedure qualifies the existence of nullity of the respective assignment, the company must return the 2.5GHz band and this will enter public tender. In this scenario, the rights of current or potential Bitel users would not be affected because the operator would continue to provide the service through the 900MHz and 1900MHz bands.’
For its part, Bitel has rejected the accusation that its assignment of spectrum was illegitimate, describing the allegations as ‘unfounded,’ Gestion writes. The telco noted that the current legislation allows for state-owned resources to be allocated in two ways, either through public tender of through a request from a party. The latter of these was used for Bitel’s 2.5GHz spectrum allocation, the operator explained.