IFT approves transfer of ten 2.5GHz Ultravision licences to Telcel

13 Sep 2019

Mexico’s Federal Telecommunications Institute (Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones, IFT) has voted in favour of transferring ten 2.5GHz licences from Mexican fixed-wireless access (FWA) provider Ultravision (Ultranet) to mobile market leader Radiomovil Dipsa (Telcel). As per IFT documentation, the spectrum transfer means that Telcel will control 30.79% of Mexico’s mobile spectrum, ahead of Telefonica Moviles Mexico (Movistar, 17.36%), but behind AT&T Mexico (33.63%). Despite Telcel’s dominant market share – it controls more than 60% of the wireless market – the watchdog judged that the spectrum transfer will have minimal impact on the competitive environment.

TeleGeography notes that the transaction represents Telcel’s second notable 2.5GHz spectrum acquisition in recent years. In July 2017 the cellco closed the acquisition of 2×30MHz blocks of 2.5GHz spectrum from Grupo MVS; the frequencies covered 1,575 localities, equivalent to coverage of 75.41% of the national population.

For its part, Ultravision awarded Nokia a contract to deploy an LTE-A network encompassing 700 sites across Puebla, Tlaxcala, Aguascalientes, Veracruz, Morelos, Guerrero and Jalisco back in March 2017. The service went live in September 2018. The ISP has clarified to El Economista that the sale represents a ‘frequency readjustment’ and its LTE-A services are unaffected.