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Possible Delay to Mexican Radio Spectrum Auction

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A Mexican court has accepted an appeal by MVS Comunicaciones and Iusacell and ordered a delay to the planned radio spectrum auction. The two companies had argued that the current bidding rules were unfair. A further hearing is to be held and a decision whether the auction can proceed is expected by mid week.

MVS Comunicaciones has argued that its existing licenses in the 2.5Ghz bands should be renewed before the government sells off further radio spectrum. If the auction takes place before its existing licenses are renewed, the company faces the risk of buying spectrum it later does not require, or being frozen out of the market if its existing licenses are not renewed and it decides to skip the upcoming auction.

The regulator, Cofetel plans to auction nine blocks of spectrum in eight of the country's nine regions, including the capital, Mexico City. The second auction will cover all nine regions and could pave the way for a new national network to be launched. Telecommunications services, except broadcasting, will be authorized on bands 1.9 and 1.7 GHz, ideal for 3G services.

A spectrum holding cap of 80MHz per operator is  also being imposed on the operators.

Figures from the Mobile World analysts shows that Telcel commands 72.5% of the Mexican market, distantly followed by Telefonica (19.5%) and Iusacell (4.5%) and iDEN operator, Nextel with 3.6%.

MVS Comunicaciones is part owned by USA WiMAX operator, Clearwire.

On the web: Cofetel - Mobile World

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Tags: radio spectrum  nextel  iusacell  telefonica  telcel  america movil  mvs comunicaciones  court  auction  usa  Mexico