Will Chile be first to auction 5G spectrum?

Will Chile be first to auction 5G spectrum?

It looks like Chile is aiming to be a leader among Latin American states in tendering 5G spectrum.

According to Reuters and BNamericas, the country’s president, Sebastian Pinera, explained the bidding guidelines in a televised presentation earlier this week, saying that the 5G spectrum tender he was setting in motion was a key initial step to boosting the country’s competitiveness in telecommunications. 

Companies will apparently first be evaluated on their ability to deliver according to quality and coverage requirements. The second stage will be a tender to ensure the best economic offer.

The licensing conditions will ensure at least four operators will win spectrum. Given that the incumbent MNOs – Entel, Movistar, Claro and WOM – will probably take part in the tender process, it will be interesting to see whether any newcomers are confident enough to join in.

Chile expects to be the first country in Latin America to award 5G licences. Regulator Subtel has opened a consultation period into the auction guidelines which is due to run until 7 September. Responses will be published later that month. Entrants will be able to submit their applications in mid-October.

Telecoms regulator Subtel has issued a call for companies interested in bidding for four bands: 700MHz, AWS (1.7/2.1 GHz), 3.5GHz and 28GHz. The state has 1.8 GHz of spectrum up for grabs in the four bands,

A number of separate processes will take place for each of the spectrum bands. As well as 5G, LTE Advanced Pro will be part of the tenders in the 703-713MHz and 758-768MHz frequency bands and the 1.75-1.77GHz and 2.15-2.17GHz bands.

The likely 5G rollout date has not yet been specified. Regular readers will know that some 5G networks are already up and running in the region, but these tend to be experimental, temporary or using dynamic spectrum sharing technology.

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