Mexico grants fiber optic strand to sole bidder

MEXICO CITY, June 10 (Reuters) - Mexico granted two strands of government-owned fiber optic to the sole remaining bidder in the first of two auctions aimed at boosting competition in a market led by telecom tycoon Carlos Slim’s companies.

The Communications and Transport ministry said in a document on its website that the winner was the consortium of cable operator Megacable MEGACPO.MX, broadcaster Televisa TLVACPO.MXTV.N and Spain's Telefonica TEF.MC.

As of mid-May, this group was the only one left standing in the auction [ID:nN1795764]. The companies have said they could invest 2.4 billion pesos ($188 million) in the fiber optic network running across Mexico.

The Mexican government is trying to spur competition in the telecommunications industry by auctioning off unused strands of fiber optic belonging to the state-run Federal Electricity Commission.

Less than one-third of the 2.4 billion pesos will be used to pay for the 20-year concession.

A second government auction is under way to sell chunks of radio frequency in the 1.7 GHz and 1.9 GHz bands that telecom operators will use for mobile and other services. ($1=12.7540 pesos) (Reporting by Cyntia Barrera Diaz, editing by Maureen Bavdek)