Argentina’s communications ministry, Secretaria de Comunicaciones (SeCom), is planning to launch a tender for mobile spectrum in the 1700MHz and 2100MHz bands for the provision of 3G and 4G services such as Long Term Evolution (LTE), local daily La Nacion reports. According to the head of SeCom, Carlos Lisandro Salas, the auction is expected to take place later this year. Salas said that a working committee was formed by SeCom and telecoms regulator Comision Nacional de Comunicaciones (CNC) last year, which identified the 1700MHz and 2100MHz bands as the most suitable for the provision of next generation mobile services, although the plans are still awaiting approval by Planning Minister Julio De Vido. As well as these bands, a block of spectrum in the 850MHz and 1900MHz bands will be auctioned. The spectrum had been returned to the regulator following the merger of Telefonica Comunicaciones Personales Argentina (TCP, formerly known as Unifon) and Movicom BellSouth. In December 2004 the Ministry of the Economy approved the merger of the two cellcos, on the condition that the consolidated company relinquish 42.5MHz of its wireless spectrum under the law stating that no operator is allowed to hold over 50MHz (the enlarged entity would have held a combined 92.5MHz following the deal).
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