Chilean telecoms watchdog the Department of Telecommunications (Subsecretaria de Telecomunicaciones, Subtel) has announced that the licences it awarded in February this year for 5G spectrum in the 700MHz, 1700MHz and 3.5GHz ranges have now been approved by the Comptroller General of the Republic (Contraloria General de la Republica, CGR), enabling the licensees to begin utilising those airwaves. Awards for spectrum in the 26GHz band are still awaiting approval, however. Diario Financiero writes that the licences were initially expected to be greenlit by the CGR in May, but were delayed due to the resignation of the Undersecretary of Telecommunications Pamela Gidi in June 2021. With the appointment of a new undersecretary that month, the official withdrew the licence awards for review before re-submitting them in August.
Commenting on the development, the new Undersecretary of Telecommunications, Francisco Moreno, was quoted as saying: ‘The fifth generation of mobile communications technology not only represents a substantive leap in terms of performance with respect to … 4G networks, but its deployment will have an effect transformational for the country by allowing the digitization of different processes such as remote medicine, smart cities, intelligent transportation, among many others.’
As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Subtel awarded spectrum for 5G services via a series of auctions at the start of the year, through which operators secured spectrum as follows:
· WOM – 2×10MHz in the 700MHz band, 2×15MHz in the 1700MHz band, 50MHz in the 3500MHz band and 400MHz in the 26GHz band
· Entel – 50MHz in the 3500MHz band and 400MHz in the 26GHz band
· Movistar – 50MHz in the 3500MHz band
· Claro – 400MHz in the 26GHz band.