Uruguayan president Luis Lacalle Pou formally approved the specifications for the country’s planned 5G tender on 30 March, giving the Regulatory Unit of Communications Services (Unidad Reguladora de Servicios de Comunicaciones, URSEC) 30 days within which to stage the auction. The process commenced last year, when Decree 425/2022 was passed on 27 December 2022. Industry stakeholders were then given until 13 February 2023 to submit any comments.

In total, three 1×100MHz lots of spectrum will be allocated, namely: 3300MHz-3400MHz; 3600MHz-3700MHz (reserved for state-owned incumbent Antel); and 3700MHz-3800MHz. Each 100MHz spectrum package has a minimum initial price of USD28 million and will be valid for 25 years. Rollout obligations include a requirement to deploy 70 base stations within one year, with at least two base stations in a minimum of ten or more departments (excluding Montevideo) required within two years, and at least two base stations in each of the country’s 19 departments by the end of the third year.

As anticipated, would-be market entrant Dedicado will not been permitted to participate in the auction; all bidders must have a minimum of two years’ experience providing mobile services in North America, Central America, South America or Europe.

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