WSIS Prizes Contest 2021 Nominee

Spectrum Auction 2019

IMT bands of 700 MHz, 1900 MHz and 2500 MHz


In December 2019 Colombia held a pivotal spectrum auction with 4 main objectives: i) increase coverage in rural and remote areas; ii) improve quality of service for 4G services across the country; iii) foster investment and competition among mobile operators; and iv) increase the income towards the FUTIC (universal access fund).
The auction achieved an unprecedented milestone in terms of social inclusion and rural coverage: 3,658 rural communities will benefit from new 4G coverage in 5 years. This will lead to a dramatic leap from 7,9% rural 4G coverage to almost 80% before 2025, resulting in most inhabitants of Colombia´s rural areas benefiting from ICT for the first time.
Furthermore, it also established a modernization obligation for existing operators of upgrading 2G and 3G networks to 4G over 4 years in municipalities with populations of under 100,000 inhabitants, representing 90% of Colombia’s municipalities. This auction has no precedents in terms of social and geographical impact as well as the expected performance from the networks, benefiting most Colombians with high speed mobile broadband at more affordable prices.

Project website


Action lines related to this project
  • AL C1. The role of governments and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development 2021
  • AL C2. Information and communication infrastructure
  • AL C3. Access to information and knowledge
  • AL C8. Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content
Sustainable development goals related to this project
  • Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • Goal 10: Reduced inequalities
  • Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
  • Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

  • Colombia



Start date

31 March 2019

End date


Target beneficiary group(s)
  • Youth
  • Older persons
  • Women
  • Indigenous and nomadic peoples
  • People with disabilities
  • The unemployed
  • The poor
  • Migrants
  • Refugees and internally displaced people
  • Remote and rural communities


This project is replicable given that it promotes social innovation, access to new technologies and the investment of various mobile operators, which can be scalable to different rural areas of the country that are highly vulnerable.


This project is sustainable because it is facilitating access to rural connectivity, providing infrastructure that can be used by new generations and will promote investment by mobile operators, which will lead to more connected territories in which digital transformation can be promoted.

WSIS values promotion

WSIS values are at the center of the spectrum auction. As mentioned before, this allocation process not only considered the usual IMT spectrum aspects, it also created a sophisticated system that involved the maximization of social benefit in those areas where ICT access was lagging behind. On the other hand, the auction recognized that spectrum allocation could play a pivotal role in the social development of rural and remote societies throughout the country and therefore aimed at promoting capacity building within rural localities through new mobile infrastructure roll outs. In addition, the auction took into account the cultural diversity and identity of those communities located in rural and remote areas in such a way that they could appropriate the new ICT services at their disposal

Entity name

Ministry of Information Technology and communications (MinTIC)

Entity country—type

Colombia Government

Entity website