Chile confirms LTE auction to launch in December, conclude by June

20 Aug 2010

Chile’s telecoms regulator Subtel has confirmed that it will launch an auction for wireless spectrum licences in the 2600MHz band intended for 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in December, and expects to award concessions no later than June 2011, according to BNamericas. Subtel’s head Jorge Atton told press: ‘In December we will launch the auction. Then a three- to five-month process will follow, meaning we hope to award the spectrum no later than June, which will coincide with the introduction of number portability and greater competition … By then Nextel and VTR [iDEN operator and cableco respectively, both winners of new mobile spectrum last year] should be operating in the market. We will have greater competition, which will bring price reductions and better quality of service for the consumer.’ The watchdog’s announcement brings forward the launch date for the mobile broadband frequency auction from an earlier forecast of March 2011; the regulator is completing the cleanup of the 2600Mhz band to make a 140MHz portion (70MHz for upload and 70MHz for download) available for 4G services – meaning that up to four operators could acquire LTE spectrum. In January cellco Entel PCS performed LTE network tests at Universidad de Chile, and expects to launch services by 2012.