Claro warns that Uruguay spectrum renewals could create market distortion

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Claro Uruguay is looking with concern at figures reported by local press regarding what operators could end up paying for spectrum renewal in the Uruguayan market.

"The formula that has been reported of paying the same acquisition price could generate market distortion," Alejandro Quiroga López, regulatory and institutional affairs director for Claro in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, told BNamericas. "We believe it is important to define the renewal criteria, setting clear and equitable rules so that all operators pay the same prices for spectrum with similar benefits.”

Although the market value of the bands is an estimated 20% less than when they were initially acquired, the government has reportedly decided to maintain the same price. This would force Claro and state-owned Antel to pay more than US$18mn each for their spectrum renewals. According to local press, the Uruguayan government could bring in up to US$54mn from the renewals.  

When contacted by BNamericas, Movistar Uruguay preferred not to comment on the matter. The company is the first operator that will renew its spectrum since part of the 1,900MHz band expires in December. In 2024, 850MHz and 1,900MHz spectrum licenses expire.

Claro will renew its 1,900MHz spectrum contract in 2024 and next year will see Antel its renew licenses.

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