Chile opens 700MHz band for commercial services

18 May 2016

Chile’s minister of transport and telecommunications, Andres Gomez-Lobo announced yesterday that operators could finally begin using the 700MHz band for LTE services. ‘From today, [Chile] officially starts using the 700MHz band, which will allow the deployment of 4G LTE in the country, providing improvements in the supply and quality of telecommunications services,’ the official said, claiming that the nation is one of the first to begin utilising the band and ‘the only one with a process designed to [ensure] mandatory national coverage.’ Coinciding with the announcement, Movistar and Entel confirmed that they had launched commercial services over their 700MHz LTE networks the same day.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the Department of Telecommunications (Subsecretaria de Telecomunicaciones, Subtel) awarded licences for the 700MHz band in February 2014 to Movistar, Entel and Claro, but the allocation process was held up by a series of legal challenges. As such, the frequencies were not distributed until H2 2015.