Claro (America Movil), Tigo (Millicom) and Wom have followed Movistar (Telefonica) in announcing the activation of their 5G networks in Colombia after securing frequencies in the 3.5 GHz band tender held at the end of last year. Tigo-Movistar, Claro, Wom and Telecall spent a total of COP 1.5 billion (around USD 382 million) to secure four 80 MHz blocks of 5G-compatible spectrum.

Claro said its 5G service is initially available in Bogota, Cali, Medellin, Barranquilla Cartagena and Bucaramanga, shortly to be joined by several more cities. The network delivers speeds that are ten times faster than 4G and can be accessed by customers with compatible devices on postpaid plans starting at COP 39,900 a month.

In a statement, Tigo said its 5G service has been activated in Medellin, Barranquilla, Bogota, Cartagena de Indias, Valledupar, Monteria, Santa Marta, Villavicencio, San Jose de Cucuta, Bucaramanga, Ibague and Cali, with plans to gradually expand it to other localities. A temporary union set up with Movistar paid COP 318.3 million for a 20-year 80 MHz block in the 3.5 GHz band in December, allowing both companies to share spectrum for the rollout of 5G but to continue operating independently as competitors. 

Wom also announced that its 5G service is active in Colombia’s main cities without providing further details. The operator owned by UK-based investment fund Novator paid COP 318.3 million for its 80 MHz block and has committed to connect 318 educational institutions and 24 LTE base stations on the country’s roads as part of its coverage obligations.

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