Tigo and Claro set to make investments to renew Paraguay licenses

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Paraguayan telecoms regulator Conatel has authorized the renewal of the licenses of the companies Tigo (Millicom) and Claro (América Móvil), which have pledged to invest US$47mn to continue installing and expanding their 4G networks.

The renewal of licenses includes the 1,700MHz and 2,100MHz bands that were tendered in 2015 for a period of five years. At the time, operators paid US$90mn for 30MHz of spectrum each.

As part of the regulatory obligations for the license renewal, the companies pledged to invest another US$7mn to install 30 telecenters and hand out 8,300 notebooks with free internet access for students.

During the next two years, they will also carry out maintenance and renewal of services in 74 telecenters that have already been deployed.

Tigo and Claro also agreed to install 10 base stations in communities that are not currently connected, including indigenous communities.

The expansion of coverage of telecommunications and ICT services and the increase in the penetration of services are two of the main objectives of the new telecommunications plan that Conatel prepared and which is currently available for public consultation.

Paraguay is lagging somewhat in terms of spectrum. According to a report from 5G Americas, the 350MHz used by Paraguay for mobile services represents 26.9% of the recommended amount for 2015 and just 17.9% for 2020.

In the last spectrum auction, held in 2018, Paraguay collected US$84.5mn for the allocation of spectrum in the 700MHz band to Tigo, Claro and Personal.

The authorities are not expected to grant any 5G frequencies to local mobile operators before 2024, Conatel president, Juan Carlos Duarte has been reported as saying.

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