VTR launches mobile services, will use existing customer base to drive growth

17 May 2012

Chilean cableco VTR has launched commercial voice and data services over its 3G W-CDMA network. The company’s chairman, Mauricio Ramos said that the telco would bring ‘more competition, more innovation and more convenience’ to Chilean mobile subscribers. The telco promised broadband and voice services 20% cheaper than its rivals, and aimed to have around half of its subscribers on post-paid plans, reports BNAmericas. Looking to utilise its existing customer base, VTR is offering to double fixed broadband download speeds for triple play customers, as well as allowing free calls from their landlines to their mobiles. Further, to help customers make better use of their mobile data allowance, VTR Wi-Fi routers in the home will contain software that automatically transfers data usage to the Wi-Fi hotspot when within range. VTR’s CEO Guillermo Ponce added that it was ‘reasonable to expect a market share of 10% in the next 3-5 years.’ According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, VTR will compete with four other operators, the Chilean arms of LatAm telecoms heavyweights America Movil (AM) and Telefonica of Spain as well as locally based Entel and US-backed Nextel. At the end of 2011, Telefonica’s Movistar Chile claimed 39.0% of the market with 9.55 million subscribers, just ahead of Entel which had signed up 9.35 million customers at that date (38.1%). AM’s Claro represented 22.6% of the market, whilst Nextel claimed just 0.3% with 70,000 subscribers using its iDEN network. Nextel last week completed the full commercial launched of its own W-CDMA network, having soft-launched services in late 2011.