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Mexico approves Iusacell acquisition, confirms 4G auctions

The Mexican regulator IFT has confirmed that it will hold auctions this year for 4G-capable radio frequencies.

While it has not confirmed a timeframe, IFT has stated that it will sell 60MHz of frequencies between 1.71GHz and 2.17GHz, in a move that could further reduce the market dominance of America Movil’s Telcel. The auctions will constitute Mexico’s first spectrum sale in 5 years.

IFT has also approved US-based operator AT&T’s acquisition of the smaller Mexican operator Iusacell, subject to various conditions. The American firm’s entry into Mexico will be an additional blow to Telcel’s hold on the market.

Telcel, which is owned by Carlos Slim’s America Movil, was found to have too strong a presence in the Mexican mobile market and was subsequently targeted by antitrust regulation aimed at reducing its footprint. The IFT recently began an investigation into the more dominant operators as each level of service.

In addition to the 4G-suitable frequencies, the IFT is planning on selling spectrum between 824MHz and 894MHz, which can be used to augment basic connectivity in remote rural areas.


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