Mexico's government said it will recover concessions in the little-used 2.5 GHz frequency band and resell the spectrum to expand fourth-generation mobile telecoms service.

Communications and Transportation Secretary Dionisio Perez Jacome said in a press conference that the first step is to deny requests for the renewal of expiring spectrum licenses in that high-frequency band.

The second step, he added, is to start the process of recovering spectrum from existing concession holders in order to maximize the band's possibilities.

In Mexico, 11 operators hold 68 concessions in the 2.5 GHz band, ranging from those with a single concession to the MVS Comunicaciones firm, which has 42.

"The new technologies applicable to the 2.5 GHz band allow Mexico to provide users with ... fourth-generation services and prevent the saturation of available spectrum capacity," he said.

Perez Jacome said technological advances have altered the possibilities of this band and made a comprehensive reordering necessary.

The goal of the reordering is to maximize the band's potential by using it to provide advanced mobile telecommunications services, he said.

The band was originally used for pay TV and audio services, but now it can be utilized to offer 4G services, including mobile broadband.

These changes also will put more services in the hands of users nationwide while providing better conditions in terms of scope, quality and price, he said.

The minister said proper use of this frequency band could allow it to attend to several million users in just a few years, whereas it presently serves "just a little more than 200,000 subscribers."

The experience of other countries shows "the desirability of awarding sufficient blocks of spectrum to promote healthy competition among operators and allow more efficient provision of services to users," Perez Jacome said.

He said the government will legally recover the spectrum and respect concession holders' rights, adding that it will pay compensation if necessary.

All interested companies will be eligible to participate in an auction of the recovered spectrum without exclusion or discrimination, the minister added. EFE