Network goes live ahead of end-March deadline and with coverage in excess of 30% requirement

Mexico on Wednesday formally launched its shared LTE network at an event attended by President Enrique Peña Nieto, according to an agenda announcement from the government.

Further details furnished by the local press indicate that at launch the network covers 32% of the Mexican population, with the first phase requiring investment of 8.1 billion pesos (€356 million), according to El Financiero.

The project will ultimately extend wholesale LTE coverage to much of Mexico.

Altán Redes won the tender to run the network rollout in late 2016, pledging to cover 92.2% of the population, some way in excess of the government’s minimum requirement of 85%. The firm was working to a deadline of 31 March this year to launch the network with at least 30% population coverage.

Earlier this year it announced that it would "easily" achieve that requirement, and said it was in the process of setting out its terms and conditions for wholesale access to the network for approval by regulatory body the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT).

Its customers will be Mexico’s retail telecoms operators.

Altán Redes agreed to roll out and run the network under a 20-year public private partnership and was granted low-cost access to 700-MHz spectrum.

In total, the network is expected to require investment of around US$7 billion.