Regulator aims to auction off spectrum towards the end of 2020, facilitating 2021 5G rollout

Mexico late last week confirmed that it will push ahead with the sale of 600 MHz spectrum for 5G services before the end of next year.

The announcement came via telecoms regulator the IFT’s annual spectrum allocation plan for 2020, which included its intention to sell off the 600 MHz frequencies it freed up almost a year ago.

The plan still requires the final approval of the regulator’s plenary meeting later this year and interested parties still have another month to propose changes to the plan, but all indications are that the auction will go ahead in 2020.

The IFT also included the 1.9 GHz and 3.3 GHz bands in its 2020 plan, as well as certain segments of the 800 MHz band for social and public use, but it is the 600 MHz airwaves that are attracting the most attention.

Mexico declared itself the first country in the world to open up the 600 MHz band for mobile last autumn, having changed the frequencies of the last remaining digital TV services using the band, and the regulator is talking up this second so-called digital dividend.

If the spectrum is sold off as planned at the back end of next year, Mexico’s mobile operators will be able to start building out 5G services in 2021.