Over the past three years, the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) has implemented different procedures to optimise the spectrum reserved for the broadcasting sector (specifically, for TV channels that transmit in the 600MHz band).

In October 2018, after relocating more than 200 TV channels, the IFT approved the relocation of the last two TV channels that transmitted in the 600MHz band in order to free it up for 5G broadband services. In doing so, Mexico became the first country to finish implementing this transition and liberate the 600MHz band.

This transition will enable Mexico to make the 600MHz band available to the market through a bidding process and exploit international mobile telecoms (IMT) applications for 5G mobile broadband services. It is anticpiated that the 600MHz band auction will be launched in 2020 so that the deployment of the network can commence in 2021.

Mexico had already successfully switched off the 700MHz band for analogue TV in November 2015. In such band, the government implemented the Red Compartida (or Shared Network) project through a public-private partnership in order to:

  • provide broadband in areas that lacked coverage;
  • improve service quality;
  • reduce the price of mobile services;
  • promote competitiveness; and
  • improve digital service innovation.

The auction was won by Altán Redes, a new joint venture responsible for the design, implementation, operation and maintenance of the Red Compartida.

In addition, in 2018 the IFT conducted a bidding procedure in which it allocated 120MHz of the 2.5GHz band in favour of AT&T and Telefonica.

In light of the above, Mexico has allocated 584MHz to IMT, which represents 44.9% of the International Telecommunications Unit recommended spectrum allocation for 2015.

With the future auction of the 600MHz band, the IFT will take the lead in providing more spectrum for telephony and 5G mobile internet services. This is in line with the spectral policy, which has allocated more than double the amount of spectrum to the market over the past five years, resulting in greater benefits for Mexican users.

In addition, the IFT is considering using the 3.3GHz to 3.6GHz band for 5G technology, as some companies are already using this band for such purposes.

For further information on this topic please contact Federico Hernández Arroyo at Hogan Lovells BSTL by telephone (+52 55 5091 0000) or email (federico.hernandez@hoganlovells.com). The Hogan Lovells website can be accessed at www.hoganlovells.com.

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