Colombian spectrum auction generates COP5tn; WOM owner acquires 700MHz, 2500MHz frequencies

2 Jan 2020

Colombia’s Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications (Ministerio de Tecnologias de la Informacion y las Comunicaciones, MinTIC) has announced that December’s multi-band spectrum auction generated a total of COP5 trillion (USD1.5 billion). The watchdog summarises the results as follows:

· Claro acquired 20MHz in the 700MHz band and 30MHz in the 2500MHz band;

· Tigo acquired 40MHz in the 700MHz band, but was unable to bid on 2500MHz frequencies due to spectrum caps;

· Partners (a bidding vehicle for Novator Partners, the Icelandic-owned, London-based owner of Chilean upstart operator WOM) acquired 20MHz in the 700MHz band and 30MHz in the 2500MHz band; and

· Telefonica Colombia, which had registered to participate, did not win any spectrum.

MinTIC notes that a 2×2.5MHz 1900MHz block went unsold as did a 10MHz block of 700MHz spectrum.

The 700MHz spectrum licences are understood to include obligations to bring 4G connectivity to 3,658 rural locations across 32 departments of the country, including the San Andres archipelago; all rural 4G networks must be operational in less than five years.