Colombia’s three major players have all confirmed that they will bid in the delayed multi-band spectrum auction now scheduled for this month.
In addition, a fourth participant is entering the fray – Novator Partners, which owns Chile’s WOM after acquiring Nextel Chile in January 2015. The company, which is Icelandic-owned but headquartered in the UK, has registered a new company (Partners) which will act as its bidding vehicle.
Novator’s participation is significant as it is not the first time that the company has expressed an interest in Colombia, with rumours in 2016 indicating that it could acquire Avantel Colombia. Ultimately, no deal came to pass.
The auction was initially scheduled for 12th December, but was delayed when only Claro, the market leader, registered to bid. Tigo and Movistar’s reservations about the lack of public reserve prices prompted talks between the operators and the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications (Ministerio de Tecnologias de la Informacion y las Comunicaciones, MinTIC) which led to the providers confirming their interest by 2nd December.
Up for auction will be 2×45MHz blocks of 700MHz spectrum, which will be split into four 2×10MHz blocks and one 2×5MHz block. In the 1900MHz band, 2×2.5MHz blocks will be available while in the 2500MHz band, eight 10MHz blocks will be up for sale.