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Claro, Entel submit bids for additional 5G spectrum in Chile

The main aim of the tender is to award up to five blocks of 10 megahertz each in the 3.5GHz spectrum band for 5G

Chilean operators Claro and Entel were the only bidders in Chile’s second 5G spectrum auction, local press reported.

The main aim of the tender is to award up to five blocks of 10 megahertz each in the 3.5GHz spectrum band. The airwaves do not make up a continuous block. The regulator previously said it plans to rearrange the 3.4 GHz-3.6 GHz band upon the completion of the tender, so that the blocks awarded in the auction are “continuous, and that the rest of the blocks granted in [this] band are left with the least dispersion and greatest possible continuity”.

Local telecom regulator Subtel did not provide specific details of the bids. Subtel noted that the evaluation commission will review the offers to make sure they fully comply with the auction’s rules.

The Undersecretary of Telecommunications, Claudio Araya, stated that the main goal of Subtel is “to make efficient use of the spectrum for the benefit of citizens. What this contest seeks is precisely that, not leaving blocks unused and in this way, increasing the coverage available throughout the territory.”

Entel currently has 50 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band for 5G networks. The operator has another 50 megahertz for fixed wireless services.

Claro also has 50 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band to operate fixed wireless services. Under local regulations, the bands for fixed services cannot be used for the provision of 5G technology.

Meanwhile, local carriers Movistar and WOM did not submit offers to secure additional 5G spectrum in this process. These two telcos are currently offering 5G services in Chile as they had obtained spectrum in a previous 5G auction, completed in 2021.

In January, Movistar presented a preliminary ruling before the Court for the Defense of Free Competition (TDLC) with the aim of suspending the process. According to the Spanish operator, this 5G spectrum auction has bases that are anti-competitive and that would favor Claro to obtain spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band to offer 5G services in the country.

The TDLC had rejected Movistar’s request to suspend the process.

Movistar explained that it did not take part in the auction due to dissatisfaction with the rules of the process, which, according to the operator, do not ensure free competition between the operators.

“A new 5G contest should have allowed all those operators with a desire to invest to do so, under effective competition, on equal terms, with the greatest possible technical and legal certainty, and without advantages,” Movistar said in a statement.


Juan Pedro Tomás
Juan Pedro Tomás
Juan Pedro covers Global Carriers and Global Enterprise IoT. Prior to RCR, Juan Pedro worked for Business News Americas, covering telecoms and IT news in the Latin American markets. He also worked for Telecompaper as their Regional Editor for Latin America and Asia/Pacific. Juan Pedro has also contributed to Latin Trade magazine as the publication's correspondent in Argentina and with political risk consultancy firm Exclusive Analysis, writing reports and providing political and economic information from certain Latin American markets. He has a degree in International Relations and a master in Journalism and is married with two kids.