Argentina spectrum sale imminent; 93% 4G coverage targeted by end-2019

5 Jul 2019

Speaking at the 7th Latin American Telecommunications Congress in Cordoba, Argentina, Andres Ibarra, Argentina’s Minister for Modernisation, indicated that the country’s plans for a pair of multi-band spectrum auctions are at an advanced stage, and should take place within the next 60 days. According to a report by iProfesional.com, a nationwide tender will be scheduled for mobile incumbents Claro, Movistar and Personal to bid on frequencies, while a second tender will target smaller regional players.

The frequencies in question were previously managed by state-owned telecoms firm ARSAT, and comprise spectrum in the following bands: 738MHz-748MHz/793MHz-803MHz (nationwide); 1745MHz-1770MHz/2145MHz-2170MHz (nationwide); 1895MHz-1905MHz/1975MHz-1985MHz (Region I – North); 1890MHz-1900MHz/1970MHz-1980MHz (Region II – Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area); and 1880MHz-1890MHz/1960MHz-1970MHz (Region III- South). As per Decree 58/2019, which was signed in January this year, no less than 20% of the frequencies will be reserved for smaller, regional operators.

Also at the event, Silvana Giudici, President of the National Communications Agency (Ente Nacional de Comunicaciones, ENACOM), stated that the government is optimistic that the country’s cellcos will reach the target of 93% 4G coverage by end-2019. She said that LTE coverage currently stands at an average of 67%, and the country is home to a total of 27.6 million 4G users.