Chile’s Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications (Miniseterio de Transportes y Telecomunicaciones, MTT), through the Department of Telecommunications (Subsecretaria de Telecomunicaciones, Subtel), has received offers from five companies as part of its public tender for the development of 5G networks. The tender comprises four separate contests for spectrum in the 700MHz, 1700MHz (AWS), 3.5GHz and 26GHz bands, with the 3.5GHz competition seeing the most interest despite legal challenges hanging over the process. All four of the nation’s mobile network operators (MNOs) have submitted offers for at least one of the bands, whilst new competitor Borealnet entered submissions for all but the 26GHz contest. The surprise newcomer is a consortium comprising US-based communications firm Rivada Networks, which describes itself as a ‘designer, integrator and operator of wireless and interoperable communications networks’, and Business Finland – a public organisation that finances innovation and research – La Tercera writes. The company is reportedly aiming to establish a presence in the country as a wholesale provider.
Boreal and WOM were the only companies to submit offers for the 700MHz contest, consisting of a single 2×10MHz tranche of spectrum. For the 1700MHz band, meanwhile, Borealnet and WOM are also competing with Claro, whilst the 26GHz band tender is contested by three established MNOs: Claro, Entel and WOM. Finally, all four of the previously mentioned companies have submitted offers for a portion of the 150MHz of 3.5GHz frequencies that have been made available. In another unexpected development, however, Movistar has also filed an offer for the spectrum, despite its ongoing efforts to halt the tender. The cellco has argued that the design of the 5G auction process grants anti-competitive advantages to some operators in certain tenders and excludes competitors in others. The case was rejected by the Antitrust Tribunal (Tribunal de Defensa de la Libre Competencia, TDLC) earlier this month but Movistar is reportedly planning to take the matter to the Supreme Court.