IFT sends new cut-price 5G proposal to Mexican Senate

27 Oct 2021

Mexico’s Federal Telecommunications Institute (Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones, IFT) has confirmed that it has sent a three-pronged spectrum proposal to the Senate as it seeks to pave the way for the 5G era. The proposals are as follows:

· A reduction in prices for bands earmarked to support 5G connectivity, in order to promote ‘the efficient allocation of radio spectrum for these services’; 5G bands listed as 600MHz, L-band (1500MHz), 3.3GHz-3.45GHz and 3.45GHz-3.6GHz.

· A modification of existing 800MHz and 850MHz licensing blocks from nine cellular regions to 65 basic service areas to encourage smaller geographical rollouts by new operators; payments to be proportional to the economic level of the coverage area.

· The introduction of an accreditation scheme, whereby the provision of social coverage (i.e. serving towns lacking mobile broadband coverage) will reduce payment rights.

These proposed measures follow a proposal sent to the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (Secretaría de Hacienda y Credito Publico, SHCP) this summer, seeking to reduce the high prices of radioelectric spectrum in Mexico. The IFT notes: ‘It is important to note that the first two proposals do not imply a reduction in the budget income of the federation. In the first case, the reduction of the amounts of radio spectrum band rights that are not yet assigned for the provision of mobile services does not mean loss of income, precisely because they have not yet been assigned. Thus, if the amounts of the rights quotas are reduced, these bands will be much more attractive in future bidding processes, which will also result in new income from consideration and payment of rights for the federation and will avoid, as already happens, that blocks of spectrum remain deserted in spectrum tenders.’