Chilean telecoms group Entel has announced plans to double the investment in its 4G network rollout to USD200 million. Entel is required to install 660 LTE base stations nationwide under the terms of its 700MHz licence, but the operator is now planning to increase that number by 737 to bring its total number of 4G sites to 1,397. Commenting on the decision, Entel’s manager of regulation and corporate affairs, Manuel Araya, explained: ‘The way of communicating has changed and the growing demand for data made the development of this infrastructure urgent. When we started the implementation of our network in 700MHz band in May 2016, we had high expectations regarding the impact that this project would have for our customers and for the country. However, these expectations were far exceeded. The demand for data “exploded”, more than doubling in a single year, which justifies each weight we have invested and the decision to continue investing.’
The official went on to note that in the Santiago Metropolitan region – the first area to be covered by Entel’s 700MHz LTE network – 4G traffic now makes up 63% of the total traffic on its networks. Mr Araya added that Entel’s 4G subscriber base has grown to around 2.5 million, with LTE customers now making up 56% of its total mobile data user base.