Chilean telecoms group Entel has announced its investment plans for 2020, outlining a total spend of CLP371 billion (USD441 million), of which CLP264 billion would be allocated to domestic operations and CLP105 billion to its Peruvian subsidiary, whilst the remaining CLP2 billion be spent on its call centre operations across both countries. More than CLP100 billion would be spent on its mobile business in Chile, Entel president Juan Hurtado explained, with the funds primarily going towards capacity and coverage upgrades on its 4G network with the ‘possible initial deployment of the 5G network towards the end of this year, depending on when the public tender is completed’. Entel Chile’s ‘Home’ services would see investment of CLP67 billion under the plans, with the bulk of that figure to go towards the deployment of fibre-optic infrastructure. Separately, a further CLP50 billion would be directed towards Entel’s business operations in Chile, covering areas such as cloud, IoT, Big Data and cybersecurity services. In Peru, meanwhile, Entel has earmarked CLP70 billion for coverage expansion and upgrades to the capacity of its 4G network, whilst CLP8 billion would go towards the company’s fixed services for corporate clients.
Entel’s general manager Antonio Buchi commented on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the company, saying that the company was ‘resilient’ to the crisis, due to the high public demand for telecommunications services: ‘This makes it very resistant to complex scenarios like this, even more so with all the needs that now arise from connectivity in the whole of society. Telecommunications companies, and Entel in particular, have proven to be vital for the country’s operation and we have lived up to that need … Without technology, today our health system would not be working, nor could we be working, studying or informing ourselves as we are doing. We are doing everything to ensure a normal operation, in addition to taking concrete actions to help all of us navigate this complex situation as best we can.’