Regulator reveals results of 700-MHz and AWS spectrum auction, telcos pay out in excess of US$65 million.

Telefonica and America Movil have both secured 700-MHz spectrum in Uruguay, and the latter also picked up AWS frequencies, via an auction that concluded earlier this week, the country’s telco regulator revealed.

In addition to paying out US$20.2 million for two 5-MHz blocks of paired spectrum in the 700 MHz band, America Movil secured two 5-MHz blocks at 1700/2100 MHz at a cost of $15 million, the Unidad Reguladora de Servicios de Comunicaciones (URSEC) reported.

The other bidder in the contest, Telefonica, committed to paying $30.92 million for three 5-MHz blocks of 700-MHz spectrum, the regulator said.

There were no bids for three remaining AWS spectrum blocks.

Telefonica, which operates in Uruguay as Movistar, and America Movil’s Claro together control less than half of the country’s mobile market, which is dominated by state-owned player Antel.

According to new statistics from URSEC, Antel claimed a 54% market share at the end of 2016 with 2.92 million connections, while Movistar’s 1.73 million gave it a 32% share. Claro is some way behind with fewer than three quarters of a million connections and a 14% share.

Latin American publication Telesemana notes that while Antel did not take part in the contest, it has had 55 MHz of spectrum across the two available bands reserved for it by the state for the rollout of 4G services.