At this time, the national government is finalizing details for what will be the controversial auction of the three blocks in the spectrum of the 5G network, this Tuesday May 9. In recent days, telecommunications companies attended the Senate Industry Committee to address the challenges to the government’s competitive process that they still maintain.
private companies, Sure, Movistarand Dedicated, They had presented different appeals against the conditions imposed for the competitive process, however, the government confirmed the auction date and now the Communication Services Regulatory Unit (Ursec) has a free hand to move forward with the tender.
With the exclusion in the bid of Dedicated, Movistar and Claro will be the only private companies that will be able to participate of the final instance of the adjudication, thus leaving the third block reserved for Antel, as established in the official decree.
In this way, and beyond the initial complaints, no high competitive bidding is expecteddue to the allocation of the three batches of radio frequencies corresponding to the band of 3.5GHz for the three companies that will participate in the process. For its part, if any of the blocks for private companies were not awarded, it is possible that the state telephone company will try to acquire it as well.
Movistar accused advantages for Antel in the 5G auction
Despite having participation, from Movistar they had presented a document in which they maintain that “It is not just about auctioning off radio frequencies“, which would only be “the first step”, but rather establish conditions “so that networks can be developed to provide this technology”. In this sense, they warn that “current conditions do not facilitate such deployment for private operators.”
This is a complaint that the telephone company that operates in Uruguay raised from the first moment the specifications with the bases and conditions for the auction were known, and for which it filed an administrative appeal that, finally, was raised by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining (MIEM).
Another point questioned by Movistar in the document presented in the Parliamentbut which, once again, he raised from the outset, is the question of “the advantages conferred on the state operator” in the competitive process, referring to the block reserved for Antel.
According to the transnational company, the conditions of the 5G auction “are in violation of the foreign investment protection treaties” signed by Uruguay. “Only ensuring a common launch date for 5G at the industry level could partly offset the competitive advantage that Antel has been given,” the text pointed out.
Dedicated and Claro showed their annoyance at the 5G award process
The Claro and Dedicado delegations also had their opportunity to express their complaints before the legislators of the Industry Commission.
On behalf of the Uruguayan private company, the CEO, Arturo Vergas, and put the “discrimination” expresses that they suppose the conditions to participate in the competitive process to develop 5G technology in the country.
At this point, the head of the MIEM, Omar Paganini, He had previously explained, before the same parliamentary commission, that the decision to include previous experience in the cell phone sector as a requirement was “because it is understood to be extremely reasonable that, for a service of the importance of mobile telephony, whoever acquires the band is not just someone who has the financial capacity to acquire it and then go out and see how the service develops, but to secure it to someone who has the necessary experience and credentials,” he said.
On the other hand, the representatives of Claro, who had also filed an administrative appeal dismissed by MIEM, appeared by videoconference, once again objecting to the base price of 28 million dollars for each block set by the government.
This question had also been dealt with by Paganini, who pointed out that the price was the result of a comparative study of the values in 27 countries by Ursec. “Some of those interested in participating think that this number is excessive. It is understandable that this happens, but we think that it is the value it really has,” said the minister days ago.