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Movistar Gets Ready to Launch 5G Service in Colombia

2024-02-23 10:50:00| Source:Rcrwireless

Movistar said its 5G technology will be initially available in the main urban areas across the country

Colombian mobile operator Movistar, owned by Spanish telco Telefonica, announced plans to launch 5G services in the coming weeks.

In an initial phase, Movistar said its 5G technology will be available in the main urban areas across the country, the telco said in a release.

“5G is the technology that will allow us to make a leap in the user experience in Colombia, increasing the average speed and allowing applications that demand greater bandwidth to function optimally on mobile devices that support it,” said the president of Movistar Colombia, Fabián Hernández.

Movistar Colombia has carried out seven pilots with 5G technology since 2020, mainly for health applications and in the fields of virtual reality and artificial intelligence (AI).

Colombian operators Claro, WOM, Tigo and Movistar all secured 5G licenses in a spectrum auction carried out last year by Colombia’s ICT Ministry MinTIC.

The country’s communications ministry said the auction had raised more than 1.5 billion pesos ($380 million). The government had previously said that it expected to raise nearly $500 million.

Tigo and Movistar previously confirmed that they formed a joint venture (JV) to participate in the spectrum auction. The JV will be valid for a period of 22 years, counted from the date of the eventual granting of the spectrum use permit. Tigo and Movistar said they “will continue to act as independent market agents and there will be no restrictions to continue competing with each other.”

Each telco secured a block of 80 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band, while Claro secured an additional block of spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band. The frequencies in the 700 MHz, 1.9 GHz and AWS remained unsold.

ICT Minister, Mauricio Lizcano, said that local operators had acquired all the available spectrum for the launch of 5G services in the country. As a result of the auction process, the government confirmed that the country will have an investment close to $28 billion in the next 10 years.

Claro Colombia recently announced that, conditional to a number of conditions, it could invest up to $1.1 billion this year to improve the quality of services and carry out rapid deployment of 5G technology. Meanwhile, Tigo Colombia confirmed it will commercially launch 5G services in the country before the end of the first quarter of the year.

5G subscribers in Colombia are forecast to reach 37.8 million by 2030, up compared to 2.9 million in 2025, according to a recent report by telecom association GSMA.

The report showed that 5G penetration by 2025 is expected to reach 4% while it would expand to 43% by 2030.

GSMA also noted that 5G networks will cover 68% of the country’s population by 2030, up from 30% in 2025.

5G is forecast to reach 57% of the total mobile connections in Latin America in 2030, up from a current penetration of around 2%, according to a recent report by telecom association GSMA.