In order to keep pace with other Latin American countries in
4G deployment, Subtel, Chile's telecom regulator announced its
plan to auction 4G spectrum reusing the 700 MHz radio
Subtel declared that spectrum will be awarded via public
tender and the successful telecom operators will get license
across entire Chile. Nearly 703-748 MHz frequencies will be used
for transmission stations while 758-803 MHz frequencies will be
used for transmission base stations.
Higher proliferation of smartphones and tablets has increased
the demand for online games and HD movie downloads, which in turn
has fueled the demand for spectrum. Brazil, the largest country
in Latin America has already auctioned 4G airwaves in several
regions and has garnered $1.4 billion. Carriers like
America Movil S.A.B de C.V.
Telecom Italia SPA
) have acquired 4G airwaves in the 2.5 MHz frequencies, which
will allow them to transmit increased data at faster Internet
Last year, the Argentine government announced its plan to
auction 4G spectrum in 2013, but is now planning to withhold a
significant portion of spectrum to distribute it to Arsat, which
is planning to build its own network. In March 2012, the
Columbian government announced its plan to auction 4G spectrum
for mobile broadband, but recently suspended its plan based on
the potential merger deal between two participating carriers.
According to market intelligence firm Maravedis-Rethink, Latin
America will have 51 million 4G subscriber by the end of 2017.
Chile's telecom market is highly competitive and is one of the
most highly penetrated countries in Latin America. Apart from the
big South American carriers the auction provides a significant
opportunity to comparatively smaller operators like
NII Holdings Inc.
) to enter into the Chilean market.
The 4G auction will be beneficial for the government as 4G
spectrum is more expensive and will fetch more money for them.
However, lower band spectrum increases coverage but carries fewer
data than the higher band, which signifies that it will increase
operators LTE reach but would hamper their data transmission
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