Chile’s telecoms watchdog has begun public consultation on plans to auction spectrum for 5G services, inviting ‘all members of the digital ecosystem’ to participate in the process, which will run until 14 February 2020. The Department of Telecommunications (Subsecretaria de Telecomunicaciones, Subtel) has proposed selling off spectrum in four bands via separate and independent processes, although each concession will be valid for 30 years and carry technological restrictions. The frequencies available are as follows: one 2×10MHz block of 700MHz spectrum (703MHz-713MHz/758MHz-768MHz); 2×15MHz in the 2100MHz band (1755MHz-1770MHz/2155MHz-2170MHz); 15 10MHz blocks in the 3500MHz band (3300MHz-3400MHz, and 3600MHz-3650MHz); and two tranches of 400MHz in the 28GHz range.
For the two FDD licences, Subtel has stipulated that the winning bidder must use the spectrum for the rollout of LTE-A Pro or 5G services. Concessions in the two higher bands, meanwhile, must be used for 5G. The regulator also set out coverage requirements for the licences, with the 700MHz licensee’s footprint to cover 200 square kilometres of each commune in the five most populous regions (Santiago Metropolitan, Valparaiso, Biobio, Maule and Araucania) and 100 square kilometres of each commune in the other eleven regions. Holders of licences in the other three bands, however, are expected to cover a portion of each commune nationwide as follows: 2100MHz, 100 square kilometres; 3500MHz, 40 square kilometres; and 28GHz, one square kilometre.