Chile’s Supreme Court limits spectrum holdings for operators

Chile’s Supreme Court limits spectrum holdings for operators

TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reports that the Supreme Court in Chile has issued a ruling on spectrum holding limits.

It’s a bit complicated, but the upshot is that an operator may hold a percentage of the available spectrum within so-called ‘macro bands’ – that is, groupings of spectrum bands. For instance, an operator can hold up to 32 percent of the available airwaves in the band continuing sub-1GHz frequencies. For the 1GHz-3GHz and 3GHz-6GHz macro bands the limit is 30 percent. An operator holding spectrum in the mmWave (over 24GHz) macro band is capped at 25 percent.

And that’s by no means the end of the story. The court has also ordered the establishment of a national roaming obligation. The three incumbent operators, Entel, Claro and Movistar, will be obliged to provide national roaming for new entrants while they deploy their own networks. The national roaming obligation is described as temporary, though how long it is to remain in effect is not clear.

The court has also ordered the three incumbents to make their networks available to MVNOs. They will be obliged to make and keep updated a reference offer that is approved by the regulator Subtel and the country’s National Economic Prosecutor, both of which are obliged to monitor the incumbents. Subtel and the National Economic Prosecutor are also empowered to adjust the conditions of offers and contracts for national roaming and for MVNOs.

The ruling may not have been unexpected as it follows proposals by both the country’s Antitrust Tribunal and the Department of Telecommunications. However, it will be interesting to see how Entel, Claro and Movistar respond.

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