Vietnamese-backed cellco Bitel has been awarded 2×30MHz in the 1700MHz band and 1×30MHz in the 2300MHz band. The operator’s winning bids comprised pledges to extend 4G coverage to a combined total of 3,825 unserved or underserved locations at a cost of around USD600 million. For the 1700MHz band – divided into two 2×15MHz blocks – the company proposed extending 5G to 2,640 locations, defeating rival Claro Peru for the concessions. Similarly, Bitel’s bid of providing coverage to 1,185 locations saw it pull ahead of Entel for the 2300MHz airwaves. Under Bitel’s proposals the company with provide coverage to 3,282 locations within a year of receiving the concessions, and the remaining 543 in the second year.
The allocation process was managed by the Agency for the Promotion of Private Investment (Agencia de Promocion de la Inversion Privada, ProInversion) on behalf of the Ministry of Transport and Communications (Ministerio de Transportes y Comunicaciones, MTC) and has encountered numerous delays. Plans were first announced in 2019 but it was not until May 2021 that tender documents were finalised but the deadline for filing bids was subsequently postponed and the process was suspended in February 2022, reportedly due to limited interest from providers. The tender was relaunched in January this year with some adjustments to the terms.
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