The transport and communications ministry (SCT) of Mexico is aiming to begin tendering a $10 billion national mobile broadband network by October.
While the terms for the programme will be made public in June, the ministry has already requested that parties register their interest in building and running the network, which will operate over 90MHz of 700MHz spectrum.
China Telecom’s parent company CTC has previously expressed an interest in a Mexican investment, while Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson reportedly backed an unsolicited bid to build the network that was lodged last year by a consortium. However, the SCT did not acknowledge the bid.
Deploying a national mobile broadband network was added to the country’s constitution as part of the government’s efforts to reduce the market dominance of America Movil. The regulator IFT has been granted powers that are aimed at fostering increased competition in order to promote investment.
The SCT and IFT are reportedly aiming to have the network living by 2018, and are aiming to attract both public and private investment. Existing Mexican operators and MVNOs have the opportunity to increase their footprint via the ‘shared network’.
SCT has noted that “six major telecoms suppliers” are conducting field tests in the 700MHz frequency band. State-owned electricity firm CFE will also have its fibre-optic network upgraded as part of the initiative.