Chile’s Secretary of Telecommunications (Subtel) announced that carriers paid about $12.26 million to buy licenses to deploy LTE across the country. Subtel made 120 megahertz in the 2.6 GHz band available for bidding. América Móvil’s Chilean unit, Claro; Telefónica’s local wireless operator, Movistar, and Chilean Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (Entel) were granted the right to deploy this new generation of telecommunications. Together, Subtel expects them to invest more than $233.45 million.
Once the decrees are published, the companies will have 12 months to deploy their networks nationwide and a maximum of 24 months to connect an additional, mandatory 543 isolated locations.
The Chilean minister of transport and telecommunications, Pedro Pablo Errazuriz, said that with this step, the country is fulfilling its commitment to deliver new spectrum for the development of high-capacity mobile technology services, in line with global technological leadership.
“The results place a definite deadline for the deployment and rollout of LTE in the country. In other words, the country’s mobile operators would probably launch services in less than 12 months,” José Otero, president of Signals Telecom Group, told RCR Wireless News. “The auction responds to the three main MNO demands for further spectrum, which was one of the central controversies during the last auction process that saw both VTR and Nextel acquire mobile licenses. On this latter subject, the lack of bids from these two players could be explained by the lack of an immediate need for more spectrum bandwidth as both players don’t experience traffic congestion on their networks due to their small mobile subscriber base.”
These three companies were the only candidates to present proposals for the 2.6 GHz frequency band tender in the auction competition that Subtel launched in 2011 to introduce high-speed and greater capacity mobile broadband to the country.
“The essence of this competition is an innovative public policy definition that ensures coverage, competition and quality of service; technical constraints of signal quality measures within homes and buildings; rules for infrastructure sharing and third party network use by offering facilities for virtual operators; and digital inclusion by ensuring voice and Internet service for 543 isolated currently unserved locations,” said Minister Errazuriz.
According to the undersecretary of telecommunications, Jorge Atton, with this process, the country has responded to the need for increased mobile network supply and capacity to meet user demand. He added that now it is up to the companies to make the necessary investments to implement new and better services.
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