Claro Argentina, the local mobile unit of Mexican telecoms giant America Movil, is looking to acquire mobile spectrum in the government’s recently announced auction to enable it to roll out 4G LTE services and improve the coverage and quality of its 3G network. The company’s commercial director Fernando del Rio told TN Tecno that it could take up to four years for full implementation of LTE in Argentina, but said he was unable to give a more precise rollout timeframe as the details of the spectrum tender have yet to be announced. Claro, which is the country’s largest wireless operator by subscribers, is investing around USD400 million annually to improve the capacity and quality of its existing networks, the executive added.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in May the government unveiled plans for an auction of national 4G spectrum in the 1700MHz/2100MHz (AWS) and 700MHz frequency bands, as well as the remaining 3G spectrum in the 850MHz and 1900MHz ranges. The announcement was made at a press conference headed by Planning Minister Julio De Vido, Economy Minister Axel Kicillof and Communications Secretary Norberto Berner. The allocation of new 3G and 4G LTE licences is aimed at improving the quality and coverage of mobile services in Argentina, and will more than double the amount of wireless spectrum available to operators from 170MHz to 380MHz. The 4G tender is open to both new and existing players, including international companies.