Back in May 2020, we wrote about a reconfiguration of Mexico's 3.5GHz spectrum band to provide AT&T and Telcel with 50MHz of contiguous spectrum in exchange for the 2x25MHz paired spectrum blocks they previous controlled. At the time Axtel still owned 2x25MHz paired spectrum blocks as seen below.
In July 2020, Telcel announced their purchase of Axtel's 3.5GHz spectrum which kicked off an ITF (Instituto Federal De Telecommunicaciones) process to combine these spectrum licenses into another 50MHz block. This move would appear to finish the transformation of Mexico's 3.5GHz band from FDD operation to TDD operation for 5G. This also consolidates Telcel's spectrum into a contiguous 100MHz block and it delineated available spectrum for a future auction, where we would expect AT&T to be an active bidder to equalize their 3.5GHz spectrum position with Telcel.
In the chart below, we look at the frequency band ownership percentages (in terms of MHz-POPs) for the 3.5GHz band where AT&T owns 16.7%, Telcel owns 33.3%, and ITF still controls 50% of the band.