Argentinian regulators seek new market entrant through 4G auction

Argentinian regulators seek new market entrant through 4G auction

Argentinian regulators are planning to reserve spectrum for a new market entrant as its 4G auction approaches.

It published conditions for 4G licencing this week, marking the beginning of the bidding process but declined to announce when the auction will take place.

Under the provisions, regulators state that they will “reserve a portion of the spectrum for a future provider”, but failed to confirm how much spectrum would be put aside.

Operators will be invited to bid for spectrum in the 700MHz and AWS spectrum bands for 4G, with winners awarded national licences that will be valid for 15 years.

Winners will be expected to cover 98% of the population in five years, with a range of other requirements expected as their offerings develop.

According to analysts, it is however highly unlikely that there will be a new entrant in Argentina given the cost of Greenfield deployment. The auction could however give struggling operators a lifeline to compete.

Argentina has previously attempted to introduce a new player in the market, and cancelled a 3G auction in 2012 after claiming that none of its bidders met the criteria to enter.

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