Mexico 5G spectrum auction faces limited operator interest due to high fees – GlobalData

The bidding is set to take place in 2025 and features the 600 MHz and L-Band (1427-1518 MHz), both of which are primed for 5G. #pressrelease

May 16, 2024

1 Min Read

Mexico's 5G auction faces hurdles as high spectrum fees deter operator interest. The upcoming Licitacion IFT-12, announced by the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT), aims to drive 5G expansion but is met with caution due to prohibitive annual fees. Despite offering sought-after 600 MHz and L-Band blocks, concerns linger as past spectrum license returns highlight the financial strain on operators, potentially impacting the auction’s outcome, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The IFT initiated a public consultation on 7 May 2024. The bidding is set to take place in 2025 and features the 600 MHz and L-Band (1427-1518 MHz), both of which are primed for 5G, a generation of mobile technologies that is projected to concentrate 53% of the mobile subscriptions in Mexico by 2028, per GlobalData's estimates.

The IFT's decision to offer most of the spectrum in local blocks, except for the L-Band and a single 10 MHz block of the 600 MHz band, indicates a strategic move towards smaller geographical markets.

The IFT proposed a combination of spectrum caps that consider holdings in sub 1 GHz bands, and aggregate spectrum holdings per operator, that appear to be designed with the current market structure in mind. The design will potentially allow AT&T and Telcel to obtain low-band spectrum to enhance 5G coverage. But the auction could also allow Altan Redes to expand the spectrum portfolio of the "Red Compartida" it operates, a pure wireless wholesaler that currently holds the entirety of the 700 MHz band in Mexico.

Read the full press release here.

GlobalData

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