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IFT opens consultation for Mexican 2.5GHz auction

IFT opens consultation for Mexican 2.5GHz auction

Mexican regulator IFT has begun a public consultation over the terms for its delayed 2.5GHz band spectrum auction.

The Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones is putting six 20MHz blocks up for bidding, with reserve prices set at MXN350 million ($19.5 million) and licences valid for 20 years. Winning participants will be able to use their licences to offer services immediately, or defer service provision for two years depending on the frequencies obtained.

The available 130MHz of clear spectrum is being split between the FDD and TD technologies, with four 20MHz blocks available in the former and two in the latter. The leftover airwaves will be designated as “guard bands” to keep the two strands separate. The IFT said that this allocation would “allow for better mobile service and much higher rates of data transfer.”

The two main strands of LTE technology - Frequency-Division Duplex (FDD) and Time-Division Duplex (TD-LTE) – are distinguished by their respective use of paired and unpaired spectrum.

The IFT will wrap up the consultation by 4th September but has not set a date for the auction yet. Originally planned for H2 2016, the 2.5GHz auction was pushed into Q3 2017 by the regulator in order to drive up anticipation and therefore demand for the spectrum, while giving the excuse that it was waiting to finish its tender for a national wholesale network, which it completed in March 2017.

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