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Iusacell, C&W, Digicel, Telefonica joust for Honduras' 4th mobile license

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Local press reports this week differed on who the actual finalists were.

Conatel is offering spectrum in the 1870-1890MHz and 1950-1970MHz bands, and refers to the license as a PCS concession. The auction is scheduled for December 19 and then requires congressional approval to confirm the winner. The expectation is that the service would be up and running in the first quarter of 2008, the source said.

The minimum bidding price for the license is US$10mn. The winner will have nine months to set up operations.

Technically, the spectrum license represents the country's fourth mobile concession, but the third license holder - state-run fixed line incumbent Hondutel - is not expected to obtain sufficient financing to roll out mobile operations in the short term, so in practice the winner of this license is likely to become the country's third mobile operator.

Hondutel is currently offering a fixed wireless service in capital Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula.

The two established mobile operators in Honduras are market leader Tigo, owned by Luxembourg's Millicom International Cellular, and America Movil unit, Claro.

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Tags: america movil  iusacell  millicom international  fixed wireless  millicom  hondutel  conatel  telefonica,  Honduras