Argentina is preparing to auction off a quantity of 4G-suitable spectrum, a government source has informed Reuters, with local mobile giants Claro, Movistar and Telecom Personal already registering an interest in the process. The sale process is expected to generate around USD800 million for government coffers, by auctioning 700MHz/1900MHz/1700MHz spectrum initially awarded to Arlink in November 2014, alongside 850MHz and 1900MHz frequencies awarded to state telco ARSAT in December 2012. However, before the ARSAT frequencies can be auctioned, a presidential decree will be required.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, ARSAT received its spectrum allocation after an auction was scrapped due to a lack of operator interest. Arlink, meanwhile, was assigned 3G frequencies in the 1895MHz-1905MHz/1975MHz-1985MHz band for Region I (North); 1890MHz-1900MHz/1970MHz-1980MHz for Region II (Buenos Aires metropolitan area); and 1880MHz-1890MHz/1960MHz-1970MHz for Region III (South). In addition, the company has been assigned nationwide 4G concessions incorporating the 1745MHz-1755MHz/2145MHz-2155MHz and 738MHz-748MHz/793MHz-803MHz spectrum bands. In September 2015 the award was cancelled after parent company Grupo Uno (since renamed Grupo America) failed to pay the combined USD506 million licence fee.