Movistar activates 5G services in Mexico

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Movistar is using AT&T’s network infrastructure for the provision of 5G in Mexico

Mexican operator Movistar, owned by Spanish telecom group Telefonica, announced the launch of 5G services in the country.

In a release, Movistar Mexico said that its 5G service was activated in Ciudad de Mexico, Culiacan and Hermosillo, with plans to launch this technology in Guadalajara and Monterrey in the coming days.

The Mexican carrier also expects to launch 5G in 30 new cities across the country by March 2023.

Movistar is using AT&T’s network infrastructure for the provision of 5G in Mexico. Both telcos have had a network infrastructure-sharing agreement since 2019.

Movistar says that it is the first operator in the country to launch 5G for both postpaid and prepaid customers.

AT&T Mexico is currently offering its 5G services in 18 cities across the country. The operator’s 5G services are active in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Tijuana, Mexicali, Ciudad Juárez, Mazatlan, Ciudad Obregon, Navojoa, Guasave, Ensenada, Puerto Penasco Guamuchil, Hemosillo, Culiacan, Saltillo, Torreon and Morelia.

AT&T expects its 5G network infrastructure to reach 25 new cities across Mexico before the end of 2022.

The carrier had initially launched 5G services in Mexico in December last year using spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band.

AT&T Mexico also previously opened a 5G Innovation Laboratory, a space designed to test and validate 5G use cases with collaborators, industry and customers. AT&T Mexico said it will work in collaboration with industry, government, universities, startups and large corporations, in the realization of prototypes that use 5G technology to improve business models.

Meanwhile, Mexican telecom group America Movil’s CEO Daniel Hajj has said that the operator expects to reach the main cities in Mexico with 5G by the end of this year.

In February, America Movil launched 5G services in 18 of Mexico’s largest cities, reaching more than 48 million people.

The company, which operates in the mobile telephony segment through the Telcel brand, initially launched 5G in Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Tijuana and Puebla, among other cities.

Earlier this year, Mexican telecommunications regulator IFT had confirmed that the 5G spectrum auction for mobile services will take place during 2022. However, in September, the regulator said that the tender will take place next year, as the IFT believes that the market conditions are adverse at the moment.

The 5G auction was included in the watchdog’s 2022 work plan, which outlines the bidding process for spectrum blocks in the 600 MHz, 3.3 Hz and 3.5 GHz bands, as well as the L band.

This 5G auction was initially expected to take place in the second half of 2020, but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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