UPDATE 2-Mexico to launch wholesale mobile network tender on Friday
* Project was meant to be launched by 2014 in sweeping reforms
* Looks to curb dominance of Carlos Slim's America Movil network
* Aims to boost low levels of cell penetration, network cover (Updates with interview)
By Christine Murray and Tomás Sarmiento
MEXICO CITY, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Mexico will launch on Friday a long-delayed tender for one of the largest infrastructure projects under President Enrique Pena Nieto, a wholesale telecoms network that will cover most of the country.
The project, which was meant to be launched by 2014, is part of a sweeping telecoms reform aimed at curbing the dominance of Carlos Slim's America Movil and improving Mexicos low levels of cell phone penetration and network coverage.
It offers the winner cheap use of high quality spectrum in the 700MHz band and a 20-year public-private partnership contract to build a 4G LTE mobile network that operators and virtual network operators can rent.
"Its a change in the rules of the game," telecoms minister Monica Aspe said in an interview late on Thursday.
However, in a move unlikely to please operators America Movil, Telefonica and AT&T, the winner will not be able to sublet spectrum, Communications and Transport Minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said on Thursday. Continuación...