After failing to meet its second target for 5G antenna deployments, Chilean cellco WOM has issued a statement claiming that it has deployed 80% of the 5G sites it pledged to roll out as part of its licensing in 2021. According to its original schedule the company was due to have deployed 4,145 sites by October 2022 but by that date it had only installed 2,541, whilst a total of 366 rural locations were due to covered by April 2023 but only 25 had been connected by the deadline. The Department of Telecommunications (Subsecretaria de Telecomunicaciones, Subtel) imposed a fine on the company for failing to meet the first target in November 2022 and, after missing its second target, the government has sought details from Subtel on the measures that the regulator is taking to ensure WOM’s compliance. Separately, meanwhile, an appeal filed by WOM to extend the term for its 5G rollout was rejected by the Santiago Appeals Court this month. WOM had requested that the court overturn Subtel’s decision rejecting the extension, arguing that its delays were caused by factors that were out of its control. In dismissing the appeal, the court noted that the only a small number of planned sites were affected by such factors and that WOM’s rollout was ‘far behind’ schedule.

In a statement from the cellco, however, WOM claims that it has now deployed 3,950 sites of a total of 5,034 that are planned, or approximately 80% of the total. With regards to rural coverage, WOM claimed that it already provides coverage to 300,000 people that had previously no connectivity or limited connectivity. It estimates that its rollout programme amounts to investment of around USD350 million, in addition to the cost of acquiring its spectrum, around USD150 million.

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