Two pre-qualify for 3G spectrum after technical tie

21 Jul 2009

Dow Jones is reporting that Chilean cable TV and broadband operator VTR and wireless network operator Nextel will compete for 90MHz of 3G spectrum in a new tender after a technical tie in the first auction. The pair were the only companies to submit bids for three bands of 30MHz. However, as both bids obtained the same number of technical points, regulator Subtel has said it will take 60 days to review them before inviting the companies to participate in a new tender. Provided both pass the technical review, the companies will submit economic bids, which should be completed by the end of the year, the person said, without giving an exact date.

Chile’s three main cellcos Entel PCS, Telefonica and America Movil opted not to participate in the auction after the Supreme Court ruled in January that each company may have no more than 60MHz of spectrum. Entel already has 60MHz of 3G spectrum, while Movistar and Claro each have 55MHz, so bidding for the new blocks means they would have been forced to sell some of their existing spectrum to make room.

Chile, VTR, WOM