Subtel orders unlocking of all handsets

6 Jan 2012

Chile’s telecoms regulator Sub-secretaria de Telecomunicaciones (Subtel) has announced that as part of its plans for implementing mobile number portability (MNP), wireless providers will be obliged to unlock customer’s devices for free. When Chile’s MNP service is introduced on 16 January, mobile customers will be able to switch service providers whilst retaining their number. Subtel’s new measure will grant customers even greater freedom by preventing operators from tethering customers with a device that cannot be used to support a rival operator’s services. Subtel has also banned the sale of carrier-locked handsets, so that any devices purchased from now on will be useable with any of the country’s wireless providers. As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Chile was home to some 23.13 million wireless subscribers at the end of September 2011, split between Telefonica Moviles Chile, which operates under the Movistar brand (39.5%), Entel PCS (37%), Claro Chile (23.2%) and Nextel Chile (0.3%).