Three telecommunications companies have been awarded 20-year licences to develop 5G in Argentina, after bids for spectrum that netted over US$875 million for the government.
Regulator Enacom allocated different telecommunication frequency bands to the three main players. Claro Argentina received 100MHz in the 3300MHz-3400MHz band, Telecom Argentina 100MHz in the 3400MHz-3500MHz band, and Telefonica Argentina 50MHz in the 3550MHz-3600MHz band.
According to TeleGeography's CommsUpdate, each licence is valid for 20 years and the winning bidders have been given a five-stage rollout schedule which will see all towns of at least 30,000 inhabitants receive 5G access within seven years.
Enacom says the bidders also have to provide special internet plans for low-income sectors, accounting for more than 50% of the total users.
The government had hoped to bring in around US$1 billion in the bidding process, but Movistar bid for 50 MHz and not for the 100 MHz available, spending just over US$175 million. The other two operators will be paying around US$350 million each.
The companies will each invest more than US$1 billion for the development of the necessary 5G infrastructure, according to economy minister Sergio Massa.
When paying for the frequencies, the companies can choose to use pesos at the official exchange rate or US dollars at the blue-chip swap rate. They will have 15 days to pay from the publication of the bidding results in the government’s Official Bulletin, which takes place today.