June 19, 2013
Gov't formalises decision on state intervention in mobile phone sector
The national government signed a decree today formalising their decision for the state to begin to control a part of the mobile phone sector, a measure announced yesterday by Planning Minister Julio De Vido.
The decree was signed into the Official Gazette today, a decision that was said to be in place until the government sets up “another public bidding.”
Yesterday De Vido announced in a televised press conference that state-run telecommunications company ARSAT is to take over a contract which will allow them to control almost 25% of the country’s 3G airwaves.
The decision was made after five telecommunication groups had bid to take on the role. Four of which were rejected by the government on the grounds that they did not meet the financial requirements, and the only company that did meet requirements was Claro, however they were also rejected because if chosen, “they would have created a virtual monopoly.”
The main bidders included MII Holdings’ Nextel Communications Argentina, Telecom Argentina – controlled indrectly by Telecom Italia, Claro and two other local groups- , Multitrunk (a company of the Roggio Group) and Superfone (from the Vila-Manzano Group).