The Altan consortium has been awarded a grant to construct and operate a wholesale 4G network in Mexico by the country’s regulator, IFT.
Backed by investors from China, the US and Mexico – including TV firm Megacable and Mexican operator Axtel - the consortium was the sole participant in November’s bidding for the long-running wholesale tender. The only other interested party, a consortium consisting of Rivada Networks and Spectrum Frontier, was disqualified after failing to meet a deadline for presenting a $52 billion bid bond.
The introduction of a wholesale network to the Mexican market is aimed at increasing competition and reducing the market dominance of America Movil. The IFT grant will deliver a 20-year shared network concession to the consortium to deploy and maintain the 4G network, which will allow smaller operators to rent capacity and deliver coverage over the new infrastructure.
IFT stated that the grant would enable Altan to “take advantage and exploit frequency bands of radio spectrum for commercial use at the national level” between the 703MHz to 748MHz and 758MHz to 803MHz bands. The consortium can now begin building out the network following the numerous delays that have plagued the tender.
Altan is aiming to extend network coverage to 92% of Mexico’s population over the next seven years. It had raised $750 million at the time that it won the network tender.