The Colombian government has agreed to renew the operating licences of Movistar and Claro for a further ten years, and has added further service quality requirements to the new concessions, the Ministry of Information Technology and Communication (MinTIC) announced in a press release yesterday. Under the deal, the duo will renew their rights to 15MHz each in the 1900MHz band and 25MHz in the 850MHz range. The new concessions carry increased demands for service quality which, if not met, will lead to the cellcos having their sales to new customers restricted. In terms of fees, the operators must pay 2.2% of their gross revenues for their operating licences – COP810 billion (USD409.5 million) for Movistar and COP1.89 trillion for Claro – whilst the use of spectrum carries a fixed fee based on the valuation of the frequencies, equivalent to COP286.6 billion each, as well as 0.7% of the gross turnover from the use of the airwaves. MinTIC intends to funnel the COP4.14 trillion raised from the licences into its ‘Vive Digital’ programme, financing the expansion of coverage, subsidising tariffs for low-income households and providing free Wi-Fi zones.
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