Nine telecommunications companies have apparently expressed their interest in acquiring radio spectrum in the 5G spectrum auction expected to take place in Colombia in the third quarter of 2023.
According to DPL News, Claro, Tigo, Telefónica, WOM, ETB, OSC Top Solutions Group, Colombia WB Hots, Global Play and EGC Colombia have indicated they intend to take part in the public tender.
At the end of 2022, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies began work on finding out the likely spectrum needs for the deployment of 5G in the country. It has proposed an action plan involving bidding for frequencies in the 700MHz, 1.9GHz, 2.5GHz, 3.5GHz and 26GHz bands.
It now seems that eight operators have expressed interest in obtaining frequencies in the 3.5GHz band, and six companies have said they want spectrum in the 26GHz band.
Claro has expressed interest in acquiring frequencies in all available bands with a national coverage area, using 3.5 and 26GHz spectrum for 5G. Colombia WB Hots is also looking at frequencies in all available bands. The others are proposing a variety of spectrum combinations, though one potential bidder, the Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) group, is awaiting a regulatory framework that makes it possible for participants other than telecommunications companies to access the spectrum.
However, press reports suggests that a number of other would-be participants also want some changes. In particular, they are worried about the price of spectrum given the state of the economy, and the investments that the deployment of infrastructure and technology could involve.