The Federal Telecommunications Institute ("IFT") approved last July 18, 2014 to begin the public auction process for two satellite orbital positions intended exclusively for commercial use, including satellite communications, mainly for data, home television and corporate network services.

The satellite orbital positions will be located at coordinates 113.0° West and 116.8° West, in accordance with the priorities granted by the International Telecommunication Union, in the associated extended C and Ku-bands, with coverage over the entire Mexican territory.

New opportunities - new markets

With this two satellite orbital positions the government seeks to broaden the Mexican telecommunications market. The recent telecommunications constitutional reform in Mexico allows 100% direct foreign investment in concessions for satellite orbital positions.

The public auction was published last July 18, 2014 in the Federal Official Gazette. The public bid rules, annexes appendices and public auction procedures are published on the website of the IFT These terms determine the economic, legal and technical requirements to be considered to participate in the public bid.

The public bid rules and procedures also inform other important details such as the timing and the required documents. It is important to consider that participants must first obtain an antitrust favorable opinion from IFT; which must be requested on August 13 and 14, 2014. The IFT will answer this request on September 24, 2014.

The first stage of the auction begins with the receipt of questions regarding the public bid rules, appendices and annexes on August 20 and 21, 2014, which will be replied by videotape posted on the IFT's website before September 9, 2014 Documentation shall be submitted on September 25 and 26, 2014. The IFT full committee will issue its resolution on December 11, 2014, and will notified it to participants on 16 December of the same year, to proceed with delivery bonds and signature of the concession title.

The concession titles will be granted for 20 years, counted from the date they are contracted, which may be extended under the terms established in current legislation.

The minimum reference value stated on the public bid rules for the following Satellite Orbital Position are:

  • Coordinates 113.0o W in the associated extended C-band is $49'090,000 pesos (around USD $3’930,000);
  • Coordinates 113.0o W in the associated extended Ku-band $61'550,000 pesos (around USD $4’925,000).
  • Coordinates 116.8o W in the associated extended C-band $47'680,000 pesos (around USD $3’815,000);
  • Coordinates 116.8o W in the associated extended Ku-band $62'160,000 pesos (around USD $4’970,000).

The applicant must state, in both its technical, operational and business plans, if the project involves the operation of one or both satellites; in the case of both satellite the plan must clearly state the plan for co-location.