Six parties have registered their interest in buying 4G spectrum in Colombia, as announced by the minister for information technology and communications, Diego Molano.
The six bidders will be: Avantel; America Movil subsidiary Claro; Telefonica-controlled operator Colombia Telecomunicaciones; DirectTV; and two consortia – one led by Mexican TV company Azteca, and one consisting of operators Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogota (ETB) and Tigo (controlled by Millicom).
Auctions are expected to raise at least $250 million for the Colombian government. The process could result in a new operator entering the market; currently five hold licences (Avantel, Claro, Colombia Telecomunicaciones, Tigo and UNE).
The winning bidders will not only be expected to pay for the licences – they must also provide 500,000 tablets for educational use, as well as providing the country’s army with 4G services.
A shortlist will be announced on June 26th once the bids have been assessed.