Subtel finalises 3G auction plans

7 Sep 2007

According to BNamericas, the Chilean telecoms watchdog Subtel has presented the antimonopoly commission TDLC with a technical report on its plan to launch an auction for 3G spectrum. In June Subtel asked the TDLC to determine whether existing mobile concession holders should be restricted from participating in the forthcoming auction; the competition body subsequently requested a report on the state of the market, which was handed over yesterday. Subtel now expects TDLC to make a ruling by the end of the year.

Subtel head Pablo Bello has previously spoken of the watchdog’s intentions to offer a 45MHz block of spectrum for 3G, as part of a telecoms reform bill. The auctions are expected to take place in the first quarter of 2008. The regulator is believed to favour the addition of a fourth wireless operator to the market, to focus specifically on 3G services. The regulator is also keen for the existing mobile operators – Entel PCS, Claro and Telefonica Moviles – to compete for small blocks of 3G spectrum to ensure a competitive environment.

Entel is currently the only company in Chile to have deployed 3G/3.5G technologies, having rolled out a HSDPA network to parts of Santiago in December last year. Since then it has completed coverage of the capital, as well as some districts in neighbouring region V.