Cable Bahamas gana la subasta de espectro y acaricia la segunda licencia móvil

Con una oferta de 62,5 millones de dólares bahameños (62,4 millones de dólares), Cable Bahamas Limited (CBL) ganó la licitación ascendente para adjudicarse espectro en las bandas de 700 MHz, 850 MHz, 1.900 MHz y AWS. De este modo, la firma se impuso a Virgin Mobile y avanza hacia su coronación como el segundo operador móvil de Bahamas.

CBL deberá ahora honrar su compromiso de otorgar una participación del 51 por ciento de NewCo, adjudicataria de la concesión, a la estatal HoldinCo. Aunque el operador ejercerá el control de la junta, el gobierno tendrá derecho a una serie de vetos a través de sus representantes.

Las condiciones para alzarse con la nueva licencia emulan el modelo con el que se rige la local BTC, firma que tiene aún el monopolio de los servicios móviles en Bahamas y en la que Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) posee una participación del 49 por ciento.

La licencia para operar será entregada hacia finales de año y tendrá validez hasta 2030. En caso de que CBL incumpla las obligaciones dispuestas como parte del concurso, el Estado podrá dar marcha atrás con la adjudicación y favorecer la candidatura de Virgin Mobile.

Previo al lanzamiento del pliego, el Grupo Digicel se había anotado en la carrera para ofrecer servicios móviles en el país y era el gran favorito para adjudicarse la licencia. Sin embargo, la idea de un modelo público-privado espantó a la compañía conducida por el irlandés Dennis O’Brien.

No fue el caso de CBL. Con una clara prédica nacionalista, la empresa buscó mediante Facebook y Twitter despertar el interés de sus usuarios por el proceso y envió claras señales de que estaba dispuesta a cumplir con todas las condiciones pretendidas.

De acuerdo a datos oficiales, Bahamas poseía 302.500 usuarios móviles al cierre de 2013, equivalentes a una penetración del 84,17 por ciento. Aunque sin duda será difícil hacer pie en este mercado, CBL cuenta con una ventaja competitiva sobre su rival: su servicio de televisión paga, que llega al 92 por ciento de la población y le permitirá consolidar una sólida oferta de cuádruple play.

BTC, que apenas está experimentando con una prueba de IPTV, no desconoce la situación y calcula que enfrentará una baja de 15 a 20 por ciento en sus ingresos durante los próximos cuatro años al desintegrarse el monopolio que detenta sobre los servicios móviles nacionales.

Andrés Krom
Andrés Krom se graduó en la Tecnicatura de Periodismo de TEA (Buenos Aires). Durante su carrera trabajó en varios medios de comunicación online en el sector de tecnología y telecomunicaciones. Sus artículos han sido replicados por importantes medios gráficos en países como Argentina, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Panamá, Venezuela y publicaciones regionales.

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