CRC orders Colombian cellcos to interconnect with WOM

7 Jan 2021

Colombia’s Communications Regulatory Commission (Comision de Regulacion de Comunicaciones, CRC) has reportedly ordered the country’s cellcos to sign interconnection agreements with market newcomer Partners (WOM), ahead of the latter’s planned network launch. According to Portafolio.com, the watchdog handed down its ruling on 28 December 2020, quoting a CRC spokesperson as saying: ‘The decisions contained in the issued resolutions will be the basis for Partners Telecom Colombia to materialise access, use and interconnection relationships with Comcel and Tigo-Une, for which the parties must comply with the defined schedule.’

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in December 2019 Partners (representing Icelandic-owned, UK-based private equity firm Novator Partners) successfully bid on frequencies in the 700MHz band and 2500MHz bands in Colombia’s multi-band spectrum auction. In July 2020, meanwhile, Novator Partners acquired an unspecified majority stake in Colombian mobile operator Avantel and launched a restructuring of the business. CEO Chris Bannister has indicated that a full commercial switch-on will take place in the first quarter of 2021, under the WOM brand that Novator currently uses in Chile.