Claro is the latest 5G spectrum winner in Chile

Claro is the latest 5G spectrum winner in Chile

Claro Chile, a subsidiary of giant mobile network operator América Móvil, has won the second 5G tender in Chile, making it the fourth operator permitted to offer 5G services in the country.

The BNamericas news service says Claro Chile submitted a single offer of 83.5 billion pesos (about US$90.1 million) for the five 10MHz blocks in the 3.5GHz band. Rival operator Entel, meanwhile, offered a little over half that sum for the spectrum.

The previous auction in March resulted in a tie between Claro and Entel, the only operators that put forward proposals. Under the terms of the auction Claro is now obliged to cover 100 new localities and 1,500 kilometres of roads.

In 2021 operators WOM, Telefónica Movistar and Entel won 50MHz each in the 3.5GHz band for 32 billion pesos (UDS$34.2 million), 117 billion pesos (US$125 million) and 100 billion pesos (US$106.8 million) respectively. All three operators are offering 5G in Chile.

Operators in Chile also have licenses in the 26GHz band for 5G services, though it’s not all good news for the tender process. Financially troubled WOM is planning to relinquish its 26GHz concession and a 50:50 Claro/VTR joint venture may suffer if both companies don’t buy one half of the JV's convertible notes before 1 August. América Móvil has done so and is now waiting for VTR owner Liberty to respond.

Indeed the 5G auction, part of a plan to reorganise the spectrum and use it more efficiently, may not be over yet. Telecommunications and transport minister Juan Carlos Muñoz has reportedly expressed his hope that there will be a third 5G tender.

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