A total of five Argentine operators have so far purchased tender documents for the government’s upcoming auction of national 4G spectrum in the 700MHz and 1700MHz/2100MHz (AWS) frequency bands, as well as the remaining regional 3G spectrum in the 850MHz (SRMC) and 1900MHz (PCS) ranges. According to a report by Convergencia Latina, the country’s existing mobile network operators Claro Argentina, Telecom Personal, Telefonica Moviles (Movistar) and Nextel have all acquired bidding specifications, while a fifth company, media conglomerate Grupo Uno, is also interested in participating in the auction. The tender documents are available until 17 September at a cost of around USD24,000.
The allocation of new 3G and 4G LTE licences is aimed at improving the quality and coverage of mobile services in Argentina, and a portion of the spectrum is reserved for a new provider. Winning bidders of the 4G spectrum will be required to provide coverage of all localities with more than 500 inhabitants (around 98% of the population) within five years, with the licences valid for a period of 15 years. The 3G spectrum licences have been divided up into three geographic areas: North, South and Buenos Aires metropolitan area.