Nextel launches Chilean operations

6 Dec 2006

Nextel Chile, the local arm of regional trunking operator NII Holdings, has finally launched digital push to talk (PTT) services in Chile, ending a six-year court battle with local mobile operators. Nextel’s digital service, which is based on Motorola’s iDEN technology, has coverage of the main business corridor of the country, which includes the metropolitan Santiago region, Vina del Mar and Valparaiso, as well as the primary transportation corridors connecting the three areas. Nextel will initially target select business and roaming customers; NII Holdings’ customers across Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Peru will soon have access to roaming services when conducting business in the country.

Nextel entered the Chilean market in 2000 but appeals from potential competitors to the Supreme Court, the antimonopoly tribunal and the nation’s comptroller delayed the start-up of operations. In June this year the courts finally granted Nextel authorisation to launch services. So far the company has invested USD55 million in its network and during the intervening year has provided analogue services to a client base that reaches 5,000 users.