Colombia’s Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications (Ministerio de Tecnologias de la Informacion y las Comunicaciones, MinTIC) has announced that its 5G spectrum auction has ended after nine rounds of bidding, generating around USD1.37 billion. The auction took place yesterday (20 December), lasting just five hours.

The 3.5GHz band was the first band under the hammer, with each bidder winning an 80MHz block. The bids were as follows:

· Union Temporal Colombia Movil-Telefonica (a network-sharing JV between Tigo and Movistar) bid USD318.306 million;

· WOM bid USD318.340 million;

· Sociedad Futura Telecall Colombia bid USD318.333 million; and

· Claro Colombia bid USD411.384 million.

Claro went on to bid USD157.057 million for a block of 4G-suitable 2.5GHz spectrum, while no other bidders stepped forward. The 700MHz, 1900MHz and Extended AWS bands attracted no bids, although ICT Minister Mauricio Lizcano noted that 82.5% of the total available spectrum was acquired during the process.

All four bidders will be permitted to stage technical tests from January 2024, with commercial 5G deployments allowed from 1 February 2024.

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