Argentina's three mobile operators have expressed concerns ahead of the country's upcoming 5G tender.

The trio - Claro, Telecom Personal, and Movistar - have argued that the tender goes against the best international practices in spectrum allocation and puts Argentina's rollout of 5G services at risk.

The MNOs' concerns are directed at the country's regulator Ente Nacional de Comunicaciones (Enacom), which last week approved the tender for spectrum for the provision of 5G services.

Enacom approved the conditions for a long-awaited 5G spectrum auction encompassing the 3300MHz-3600MHz frequency band.

The regulator revealed that a 300MHz tranche of spectrum will be auctioned in three 100MHz TDD blocks, each with a base bidding price of $350 million, under licenses permitting both mobile and fixed 5G network services, with applicants required to submit bids by September 29.

However, the Argentinian has also reserved spectrum in the 3,600MHz-3,700MHz band for the government-owned satellite company Arsat. This has been labeled as "anti-competitive" by the country's operators.

"The price assigned to each of the 100MHz blocks in the 3.5GHz band is very high considering the macroeconomic situation in the country, of our clients, and the sector," the three companies said in a joint statement.

“The assignment of a free 100MHz block to Arsat is another contradictory, anti-competitive, and irregular economic distortion. It is an act of enormous legal uncertainty."

Noting the price, BNAmericas reports that the operators state the base cost of the spectrum is 300 percent higher than in neighboring Brazil back in 2021.

Colombia's regulator drafts up 5G spectrum proposals

Elsewhere, Colombian regulator Ministerio de Tecnologias de la Informacion y las Comunicaciones (MinTIC) has published a second draft of the terms and conditions for its planned multi-band spectrum auction.

The new version incorporates some changes as a result of the public consultation process, and includes modified coverage obligations and the option to pay for licenses with infrastructure investments.

The auction is set to take place in December, when MinTIC will distribute spectrum in the following bands: 700MHz (10MHz block), 1,900MHz (10MHz), Extended AWS (30MHz), 2,500MHz (30MHz) and 3,500MHz (320MHz).

Colombian telcos Tigo and Movistar signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to create a jointly owned infrastructure company that will see the pair share their mobile access networks back in June.

The creation of a shared infrastructure network is seen by the companies as a key part of the deployment of future 5G networks.