Honduras telecoms watchdog the National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) has launched a public auction CNT-CP003/2013 for the allocation of Long Term Evolution (LTE)-suitable spectrum in the 1700MHz and 2100MHz frequency bands. Under the terms set out by the resolution, the spectrum available for use is listed as follows:
• Block B1: 2×20MHz paired blocks (frequency division duplex, FDD) in the 1710MHz-1730MHz and 2110MHz-2130MHz bands; and
• Block B2: 2×20MHz paired blocks (frequency division duplex, FDD) in the 1730MHz-1750MHz and 2130MHz-2150MHz bands.
Block B3, previously announced as available in a public consultation dated 22 July 2013, is understood to be reserved for state owned telco Hondutel for use after its anticipated privatisation, as ordered by the president Porfirio Lobo Sosa. B3 comprises of 2×20MHz paired blocks (frequency division duplex, FDD) in the 1750MHz-1770MHz and 2150MHz-2170MHz bands.
The successful bidders are required to establish and operate a national 2G networks in 100% of Honduran municipalities within three years after authorisation; their 3G networks must reach 25% territorial coverage in the same period, while the footprint of the 4G networks should cover 15% of the territory by 2016, corresponding to the country’s major cities.
The tender documentation is available for purchase at Conatel’s offices in San Pedro Sula for USD2,500 fee. According to Conatel’s schedule, interested parties need to register for the auction by 20 September 2013, while the licence award will be announced on 23 September.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in July 2013 Conatel’s President Ricardo Cardona announced that at least ten foreign companies will compete in the country’s forthcoming auction for LTE-suitable spectrum this August. One of the international companies reportedly interested in the tender is Telefonica of Spain; local telcos Amnet Honduras (Tigo) and Claro Honduras are also said to be interested in bidding for the spectrum.