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New President orders ICE to relinquish 5G spectrum within six months

12 May 2022

In one of his first acts since assuming power earlier this month, President Rodrigo Chaves Robles has ordered Marco Acuna Mora, the executive president of Grupo ICE, to return all of the state-owned company’s 5G-suitable spectrum holdings to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications (Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologia y Telecomunicaciones, MICITT) within six months.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, on 25 June 2021 the MICITT notified Grupo ICE of its intention to retrieve the operator’s 5G-suitable frequencies, as it seeks to further the country’s wider 5G ambitions. Subsequently, in November 2021 the Superintendency of Telecommunications (Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones, Sutel) informed the MICITT that it was unwilling to reimburse ICE for its unused frequencies, prompting the state-backed company to dig its heels in.

ICE has been accused of ‘under-use and non-use’ of 5G-suitable spectrum in the 1400MHz, 2600MHz, 3500MHz and 26GHz bands.

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