Posts tagged ‘BNamericas’
Chilean telecoms regulator Subtel has extended the date for receiving and opening bids for 3G licences by five days, to 20 July writes BNamericas citing Subtel. The long-anticipated auction of UMTS concessions was launched in April, with bidding rules on sale until 30 June. In accordance with a Supreme Court ruling on 27 January, existing wireless players can participate in the spectrum auction, but if any company surpasses the 60MHz limit it is obliged to return some of its spectrum in other bands to the state. The three existing operators in the country are at or close to the limit: Entel PCS already has 60MHz, while Movistar and Claro have 55MHz each. Subtel has expressed that the intention of this measure is to allow a fourth operator to enter the market and focus expressly on offering 3G services.
Chile’s Supreme Court has ruled in favour of establishing spectrum limits for existing operators that want to participate in upcoming auctions for 3G licences, writes BNamericas citing telecoms regulator Subtel. In July antitrust commission FNE, cable TV operator VTR and Subtel appealed a decision by antitrust tribunal TDLC that would not allow for the reservation of spectrum for a new, fourth mobile operator to enter the market. Of the 90MHz available (45MHz for uplink and 45MHz for downlink), Subtel had hoped to reserve some 60MHz for a new operator that would focus mainly on providing value added services, while allowing the three existing wireless operators Entel PCS, Movistar and Claro to compete for 10MHz each. FNE took it a step further, arguing that the existing operators should not be allowed to participate, on the basis that they have sufficient spectrum already.
The latest ruling from the Santiago court says that no operator should hold more than 60MHz. Entel PCS already has this amount of spectrum, while Movistar and Claro have 55MHz each. The court ruled that existing players could participate in the upcoming spectrum auctions but that if they surpass the permitted limit they would be obliged to return some spectrum to the state. Some of the operators have spectrum in other frequencies such as 800MHz and 1900MHz. As regards spectrum, the court also said that Subtel ought to subdivide the spectrum in the 1710MHz-1755MHz and 2110MHz-2155MHz frequency bands into blocks that enable the efficient use of the spectrum at reasonable costs to provide 3G on a national scale.
Three telecoms operators have expressed interest in becoming the strategic partner of Ecuadorian state-owned mobile operator Telecsa (Alegro PCS), according to BNamericas quoting local newspaper El Telegrafo. The three potential investors are Venezuelan state-owned cellco Movilnet, Uruguay’s government-run telco Antel and Indonesian operator Telkom. According to the reports, selection of the partner will be concluded in 60-90 days, and is expected to inject capital to boost the mobile operator’s business in Ecuador, where it is positioned third in the subscriber market behind Mexican-backed Conecel (Porta) and Spanish-owned Movistar. Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa threatened earlier this month that if Alegro did not turn a profit within twelve months, it would be sold. According to previous press reports, the firm has reported USD200 million in losses since its creation.
Latin American mobile operator Digicel (Honduras) has expanded its mobile coverage to five additional municipalities in Honduras, BNamericas writes citing an article in local paper El Heraldo. The five areas covered are in the departments of Atlantida, Francisco Morazan, Choluteca, Olancho and Cortes, it said. Irish-owned mobile group Digicel became the fourth wireless operator in Honduras when it launched commercially in November this year. It intends to invest USD450 million (including USD80.1 million for its licence) to deploy at least 1,200 cellsites and other related infrastructure and currently has 500 points of sale nationwide. Digicel is looking to sign up 5,000 customers by year-end and hopes to become the country’s second largest mobile operator within a year of launching.
The total number of active mobile phone lines reached 147 million at the end of November, up 1.55% on the previous month, according to preliminary data from the country’s telecoms regulator Anatel. BNamericas reports that monthly net additions totalled 2.2 million, compared with four million in October this year. In the last twelve months a total of around 30.7 million new mobile connections have been added.
Venezuelan mobile operator Movistar has launched commercial 3G/3.5G services based on W-CDMA/HSPA technology in the greater Caracas area, the company said in a statement, quoted by BNamericas. The cellco, a subsidiary of Spain’s Telefonica, is initially focusing on HSPA-based mobile broadband internet and data transmission services, but plans to increase the number of value added services on offer as well as expand HSPA coverage nationwide. Movistar Venezuela has invested VEB55 million (USD25.6 million) in the first phase of the 3.5G rollout and plans to spend a further VEB225 million in spreading the service across the country, its vice president of networks, Juan Comerma said. To provide nationwide coverage, Movistar expects to deploy approximately 1,000 UMTS base stations. Movistar Venezuela launched commercial 3G services based on CDMA2000 1xEV-DO technology in 26 of Venezuela’s biggest urban areas in December 2005, and expanded 3G coverage to over 55% of the population and more than 30 cities by the end of 2007, in response to high demand for mobile internet/data access in the country. In December 2006 it soft launched a GSM network in selected areas, with wider commercial GSM coverage achieved in the first quarter of 2007. Since then, it has seen rapid client migration from its CDMA2000-based platforms to GSM-based services. Movistar currently offers the following UMTS 3G-capable mobile devices: the BlackBerry Bold 9000; Palm Treo 750; Nokia N95, N95 8GB, N78, 3120, 3555, 5610, 5320, E71, 6555i; Motorola Z9 and V9 Ferrari; HTC TNT II; Sony Ericsson K850i, W760, Z750a; and Apple’s iPhone 3G.