Argentina set to launch $800m 4G spectrum auction

19 March 2018 | James Pearce

Argentina is looking to raise around $800 million with an auction of 90MHz of 4G spectrum, with the likes of Telecom Argentina, Telefonica and Claro all expressing interest, according to reports.

The auction is expected to consist of 60MHz of spectrum that was granted to Arlink but later returned, along with 30MHz of spectrum held by state-owned Arsat, Reuters claims, citing an unnamed government source.

The Arsat spectrum cannot be auctioned unless there is a change in regulation, a spoklesperson for Argentina’s Modernisation Ministry added, but this is expected to happen around the middle of 2018, Reuters claims.

The plans come as both Telecom Argentina and Telefonica have both revealed significant investment plans for the country. The former has pledged to invest $5 billion to boost infrastructure in Argentina, while Telefonica has also announced plans to up its investment by pledging $2.6 billion into the country, according to a report from iProfesional.

"We view a government spectrum auction as good and necessary, keeping in mind the huge growth in the use of mobile data, with permanent connectivity demand from users," Telecom Argentina told Reuters.

Claro, owned by Mexican company America Movilhas also unveiled plans to invest around $400 million per year through 2020 to improve service to the 21 million customers it has in the country.

The investments follow a move by regulator Enacom in January telecoms which saw it approve rules allowing companies to offer converged mobile, fixed, pay-TV and internet services.

Topics: Argentina, Telecom Argentina, Telefonica, Claro, spectrum, America Movil, Arlink, Arsat, 4G