Chilean full-service provider Entel has completed the first stage of its 5G network rollout two months ahead of schedule, with coverage now available in 270 of the country’s 346 communes. Entel notes that 5G-compatible devices make up around 50% of its handset sales and as such around 820,000 of its customers have devices capable of accessing the network, with roughly 620,000 users connecting to the 5G network each month. The second phase of Entel’s 5G rollout is set to begin in the coming weeks and will see the operator extend coverage to over 300 sites, including: 199 public hospitals, 25 universities, 24 government ministries, 19 seaports and 15 airports.

Regarding the rollout, Entel’s Manager for Regulation and Corporate Affairs, Manuel Araya commented: ‘Our commitment has always been to bring 5G closer to the greatest number of Chileans and in this first stage we made a significant effort to complete the deployment in the shortest possible time. However, as we have pointed out from the beginning, the technological evolution posed by this new technology will be seen gradually, to the extent that the network that we are currently deploying is consolidated. Not only will it allow a substantial increase in speed, but it will also make it possible to expand mobile networks to support a large number of devices and services, connecting new industries, with better performance, efficiency and costs.’

Alongside the 5G rollout, Entel added that it has set aside USD128 million for spending on 4G network improvements in 2022, with a focus on rural areas. In addition, the operator is set to invest USD106 million in the deployment of fibre infrastructure this year and it has already extended coverage to 17 new districts.

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