ANE fines Avantel for using WOM spectrum without permission

8 Jun 2021

Colombia’s National Spectrum Agency (Agencia Nacional del Espectro, ANE) has fined Avantel for using frequencies assigned to its sister company, Telecom Partners Colombia (WOM), without prior permission. The offence occurred in August 2020, and involved spectrum in the 723MHz-733MHz/778MHz-788MHz band, as acquired by WOM in December 2019’s multi-band spectrum auction. According to the regulator’s press release, the matter was brought to ANE’s attention by Comunicacion Celular Comcel (Claro) and Colombia Movil (Tigo), and duly investigated by the Technical Spectrum Control Group. Avantel has been fined COP10.6 billion (USD2.9 million) for the infraction.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in May 2021 WOM announced plans to stage a ‘merger by absorption’ of Avantel, which had been acquired by Novator in July 2020. As the ‘largest and most financially sound company’, WOM will assume all responsibilities to Avantel’s creditors and prioritise the payment of its legacy debts. The merger process is expected to conclude within four months of being announced (i.e. by September 2021).