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Chile Modifies Calendar of 5G Auction Due to Forestry Fires

2024-02-27 11:29:00| Source:Rcrwireless

Chilean operators which will take place in the 5G auction are currently focused on guaranteeing telecom services in several regions affected by massive fires

Chilean telecommunications services regulator Subtel introduced new changes to the calendar for the spectrum auction through which it will award frequencies in the 3.5 GHz band.

The start of applications was moved from February 26 to March 13, while the closing of the process will be on March 20.

Under the new scheme, Subtel will announce the winners of the spectrum on March 21.

 “As a result of the efforts being made by telecommunications companies in the areas affected by the fires in February of this year, Subtel decided to modify the dates for receiving proposals from interested companies, with the aim of concentrating the works in the restoration of the digital infrastructure and in this way, ensure the correct functioning of telecommunications services,” the regulator sdaid in a statement.

In February 2024, a series of wildfires broke out in Chile, affecting multiple regions including Valparaíso, O’Higgins, Maule, Biobío and Los Lagos.

This is the second time the regulator modified the calendar of the 5G auction during February.

Subtel said that one to five concessions of no less than 10 megahertz each will be granted for the installation and operation of high-speed mobile networks. The licenses will have a duration of 30 years.

Local carriers Entel, Telefónica del Sur, Claro, WOM, VTR and Telefónica are authorized to participate in the process. However, Subtel said that the auction will also be open to new bidders.

The airwaves do not make up a continuous block. The regulator 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”.

Subtel previously said that applicants will be evaluated and given scores. “This evaluation aims to determine which of all the competing applications offer the best technical conditions that ensure optimal transmission or excellent service, which will be measured by the deployment time of the network, the population benefited, the coverage committed and the new infrastructure installed,” the regulator said. However, a tie will be resolved through a bidding mechanism.

This 5G auction faced some controversies last month, as mobile operator 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 recently rejected Movistar’s request to suspend the process.

In February 2021, Chile completed what it claimed to be the first tender to assign 5G spectrum in Latin America.

At that time, Chile raised $453 million in four rounds (700 MHz, AWS, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz).

Mobile operators Movistar, Entel and WOM had secured 50 megahertz of 3.5 GHz spectrum each in this process.

According to Subtel, local carriers had a total of 3.14 million 5G subscribers as of the end of the third quarter of 2023.