Local carrier Claro was the sole winner in the 5G auction

Chile raised nearly $90 million following the conclusion of a new spectrum auction, in which local carrier Claro obtained additional spectrum for 5G services.

In a release, Chilean telecom regulator Subtel confirmed that local telco Claro, owned by Mexican giant America Movil, and Entel were the two telcos that had submitted bids.

Claro was awarded the five blocks of 10 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band after presenting the best economic offer, according to the Subtel. Entel did not obtain frequencies in this process.

The Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications, Juan Carlos Muñoz, said: “As a State we have the responsibility of efficiently managing public resources. In that sense, the radio spectrum, which is the digital roads that make mobile communications possible, is a public good whose use should bring benefits to people. The money raised in this auction is a tax benefit and the State will have its use with the corresponding use for all the inhabitants of this country.”

The Undersecretary of Telecommunications, Claudio Araya, said: “We successfully closed this spectrum auction and will continue analyzing the conditions of the sector to identify the need to hold a new auction. We are also happy because we see a healthy, competitive market with actors eager to continue investing in Chile, which shows the attractiveness of our sector that also, with its public policies, contributes resources to the State.”

The auction included certain conditions for the winning company such as the requirement to increase 5G coverage in more than 120 new locations and connect 1,500 kilometers of highways with 5G.

Claro already had 50 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band to operate fixed wireless services. Under local regulations, however, the bands for fixed services cannot be used for the provision of 5G technology.

Entel currently has 50 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band for 5G networks. The operator has another 50 megahertz for fixed wireless services.

Meanwhile, local carriers Movistar and WOM did not submit offers to secure additional 5G spectrum in this later auction. These two telcos are currently offering 5G services in Chile, though, because they obtained spectrum in a previous 5G auction, completed in 2021.

In January, Movistar had presented a preliminary ruling before the Court for the Defense of Free Competition (TDLC) with the aim of suspending the auction process. According to the Spanish operator, the 5G spectrum auction was built on an anti-competitive basis and would favor Claro to obtain spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band to offer 5G services in the country.

The TDLC had rejected Movistar’s request to suspend the process.

Movistar explained that it did not take part in the auction due to dissatisfaction with the rules of the process, which, according to the operator, do not ensure free competition between the operators.

Original article can be seen at: