Chris Bannister, the CEO of Partners Colombia, has confirmed to El Tiempo that the company will launch mobile services under the WOM brand, as used in Chile. While a launch event is scheduled for 5 November, a full commercial switch-on is not expected to take place until the first quarter of 2021. To support its network, the cellco expects to roll out 800 cell sites by end-2020 and a total of 8,000 by end-2024.
The newcomer is backed by Icelandic-owned, UK-based private equity firm Novator Partners. In December 2019 Partners successfully bid on spectrum in the 700MHz band and 2500MHz bands in Colombia’s multi-band spectrum auction. Mr Bannister – the former CEO of Novator’s Chilean subsidiary – duly confirmed that he would be spearheading the group’s business in Colombia. Subsequently, in July 2020 Novator Partners has acquired an unspecified majority stake in Colombian mobile operator Avantel and launched a restructuring of the business.