Chile’s Supreme Court has ruled in favour of establishing spectrum limits for existing operators that want to participate in upcoming auctions for 3G licences, writes BNamericas citing telecoms regulator Subtel. In July antitrust commission FNE, cable TV operator VTR and Subtel appealed a decision by antitrust tribunal TDLC that would not allow for the reservation of spectrum for a new, fourth mobile operator to enter the market. Of the 90MHz available (45MHz for uplink and 45MHz for downlink), Subtel had hoped to reserve some 60MHz for a new operator that would focus mainly on providing value added services, while allowing the three existing wireless operators Entel PCS, Movistar and Claro to compete for 10MHz each. FNE took it a step further, arguing that the existing operators should not be allowed to participate, on the basis that they have sufficient spectrum already.
The latest ruling from the Santiago court says that no operator should hold more than 60MHz. Entel PCS already has this amount of spectrum, while Movistar and Claro have 55MHz each. The court ruled that existing players could participate in the upcoming spectrum auctions but that if they surpass the permitted limit they would be obliged to return some spectrum to the state. Some of the operators have spectrum in other frequencies such as 800MHz and 1900MHz. As regards spectrum, the court also said that Subtel ought to subdivide the spectrum in the 1710MHz-1755MHz and 2110MHz-2155MHz frequency bands into blocks that enable the efficient use of the spectrum at reasonable costs to provide 3G on a national scale.