Subtel to consider revoking licences after study of spectrum usage

16 Oct 2013

Chilean telecoms regulator Subtel has launched an investigation into the use of spectrum by the nation’s wireless providers which could lead to the revocation of operating licences, local news outlet La Tercera writes. Telecoms secretary Jorge Atton commented that there was ‘an obvious concern about the use of spectrum in Chile’, noting that of the two new operators introduced to the market to stimulate competition, VTR and Nextel, the former was planning to ditch its network in favour of expanding its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) agreements, whilst the latter was being considered by its US parent for sale. The audit is expected to be ready by the end of the week, and from this Subtel ‘will determine, from a legal standpoint, what the paths that must be followed to ensure effective use of the spectrum.’ Atton added that the regulator might move for the removal of concessions, saying that ‘the state cannot [continue to] provide a commodity that is scarce to companies that are utilising it poorly.’

Nextel has responded by criticising the regulator for calling into question the company’s operations, accusing the watchdog of causing ‘profound harm’ to the cellco, damaging its reputation and competitiveness. The company went on to clarify that it has ‘fully complied with all of the parameters set by the authority’ regarding its spectrum usage, and expects the analysis to demonstrate this.