The government arranged a within 10 days so that companies interested in bidding for the 5G spectrum present your latest downloads regarding the sheets. The companies have already been notified and the award is scheduled for April.
The bases for the auction are already presented, on this is that the interested firms will be able to make their last observations. Once the president Luis Lacalle Pou sign the decree where the bases are approved, the Communication Services Regulatory Unit (Ursec) will have to set the tender date within the subsequent 30 days.
Although it does not necessarily imply that they end up presenting an offer, the companies that made observations on the specifications were Antel, Dedicated, GSMA, 5G Americas, Asiet, Movistar and Clarothe latter being the generators of the strongest criticism.
The reviews of the companies
Movistar and Clarotwo of the biggest players in the sector in the country, filed complaints in mid-February for the supposed advantages that were granted to the state-owned company Antel in the process in which the three batches of radio frequencies in the 3.5 GHz band.
In fact, the possibility that the firms accessed the draft of the document in a early stage and they could give their comments was something that was enabled after Movistar and Claro claimed a greater openness to dialogue with the actors which, finally, will carry out the installation and commissioning of 5G in Uruguay.
In this sense, the criticisms, as they had already anticipated, focused on two strong points: on the one hand, the antel advantages in the tender —which reserves one of the three blocks to be auctioned, limiting the participation of private parties to the two remaining blocks— and the base price for auction.
Regarding the first point, the companies consider that the advantage granted to the public company violates international treaties and leaves little spectrum available to carry out an open auction as proposed by the government. They also point out that it is a discriminatory and anti-competitive privilege that could even violate the Investment Promotion Law.
Regarding the base price, which is 28 million dollars and was already indicated in the government decree, they demanded that it be lowered to 20 million dollars, taking into account the additional investments that must be made to start up the 5G network. —both in legal and engineering terms. They also requested to extend the term of the licenses from 25 to 28 years.
Added to this is the conflict with Dedicado, which maintains the intentional exclusion of its participation in the auction based on the inclusion of excessive requirements; while Movistar and Claro have not yet confirmed their participation in the process.