Mexican regulator gives market leader the green light to acquire 60 MHz of 2.5-GHz spectrum.
Mexico’s telecom regulator has given the go-ahead for the market’s dominant player to acquire more spectrum.
The Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (IFT) on Thursday revealed that it will allow America Movil, which operates in Mexico as Telcel, to acquire 60 MHz of spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band from DIGICRD, an entity that forms part of the Vargas family’s media empire.
Following an investigation, the regulator concluded that the deal poses "no identifiable risks to the process of competition" in the country, since while it provides Telcel with additional spectrum with which to provide mobile services, it does not give it new subscribers.
Regulatory authorities in Mexico have heavily scrutinised the competitive landscape in recent years, introducing various measures to tackle America Movil’s market power. The arrival of U.S. powerhouse AT&T in 2015 has also injected a greater measure of competition into the Mexican market.
On transfer of the spectrum, Telcel will hold 29.77% of the spectrum available for use for the provision of mobile services in Mexico, up from 22.2% at present, the regulator said.
The telco will gain 43 spectrum licences covering 1,759 localities and 75.41% of the country’s population.
The spectrum was previously used for the provision of television and radio services.
The regulator also noted that more mobile spectrum will be made available for mobile services in Mexico "in the short term," that is, within the next two years. This will comprise 120 MHz of airwaves in the 2.5 GHz band and 10 MHz in the AWS band.