CALA region eyes auctions, acquisitions and investment for 2021

CALA region eyes auctions, acquisitions and investment for 2021

News from several countries across Central and Latin America has emerged in the past few days, with regulators laying out plans for the year to come.

As reported by TeleGeography, Guatemala’s Superintendence of Telecommunications (Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones, SIT) issued a new resolution on 4th January.

Resolution SIT-DSI-664-2020 is expected to lead to the auction of a 60MHz block of 700MHz spectrum at some point this year, marking the first major action from SIT’s new chief Marco Antonio Baten Ruiz, who took up his role on 29th December 2020.

Uruguay’s state-owned provider Antel invested US$134 million into its operations across 2020, and confirmed that it intends to increase this figure to US$152 million for the coming year, reports local news outlet El Observador.

The announcement was made by the firm’s president, Gabriel Gurmendez, who affirmed the operator’s goal of extending its 4G coverage to 99% of Uruguay’s territory. He acknowledged that full coverage would be achieved in 2022.

In Brazil, IHS Towers has completed its acquisition of urban infrastructure and small cells provider Skysites Holdings, which operates approximately 1000 sites across the country.

IHS noted that Skysites offered “innovative” small cell and cell pole solutions as well as “exclusive access to tens of thousands of premium real estate locations in urban settings”, bolstered by its “extensive urban deployment experience.”

As reported by TeleGeography, Skysites is not the only Brazilian tower firm that IHS has acquired within the past year – in February 2020, it completed the purchase of Cessao De Infraestruturas (Cell Site Solutions, CSS), a Sao Paulo-based infrastructure firm, from Goldman Sachs and Centaurus Capital.

Finally, the start of the new year saw Argentina’s regulator ENACOM (Ente Nacional de Comunicaciones) impose new restrictions on tariff increases, effective from 1st January.

Consumer price increases have been capped at 5% for fixed-line and mobile operators as well as ISPs, while companies service SMEs and cooperatives are limited to tariff hikes of 8%.

A statement from ENACOM said: “With this regulation, it is sought to establish a balanced, affordable and quality access to ICT services, guaranteeing the human right to communication, as established by the regulation published in the Official Gazette and communicated to the public in a timely manner.”

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