Minister of science, technology and telecommunications Alejandro Cruz has called on telecoms regulator Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (Sutel) to look into the allocation of 70MHz of spectrum in the 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands, La Nacion reports. Cruz has requested that Sutel conduct technical and market analyses and recommend whether a new tender is required, as well as determining an asking price for the airwaves. A spokesperson for the regulator noted that it could take up to six months to prepare the report. Newcomers to the market Claro and Movistar, owned by telecoms leviathans America Movil (AM) and Telefonica respectively, have expressed an interest in the frequencies to supplement their existing spectrum holdings and bolster their mobile data services. The matter was brought to the fore by the announcement earlier in May 2013 that incumbent ICE Celular – which operates under the Kolbi brand – would begin testing 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in July. As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in October 2011 Kolbi brought forward its plans to roll out LTE, originally scheduled for a 2014 launch.
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