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Chile eyes wholesale infrastructure player to attract new telco entrants

16 августа 2010

Chile's telecom minister has proposed new legislation that would enable the creation of a wholesale network provider in a bid to attract new market entrants.

BNAmericas reported on Thursday that the government's Convergence and Reconstruction bill would allow new players to focus solely on rolling out services, rather than having to deploy their own networks as well.

"Today operators with infrastructure are all linked to a telecoms service concession licence," said transport and telecommunications minister Felipe Morande, in the report.

"We want to separate the two to encourage the construction of not only antennas but other types of infrastructure so companies that enter the market have the necessary resources to provide their service and so that competition develops not based on the level of technology of the infrastructure but on who offers the best service," he said.

Morande said incorporating a wholesale network provider would be a fundamental pillar in driving competition in Chile's mobile and digital TV sectors. To further boost competition the government's lower house on Thursday also approved the introduction of mobile number portability.

BNAmericas also reported that Chile is considering auctioning new spectrum, and subsidising telecoms services.

The number of mobile subscribers in Chile reached 17.56 million in June 2010, up 17.8% from the same month in 2009, according to Chilean telco regulator Subtel.

The country's mobile market is dominated by Spanish incumbent Telefonica's local unit Movistar, Entel PCS, and Claro – the Chilean arm of Mexican operator America Movil. The three had market shares of 41.70%, 36.86% and 21.34% respectively as of June 2010.

Relatively new mobile entrant and iDEN operator Nextel Chile, which launched in June 2008, has a market share of just 0.1%. The company won 60 MHz of 3G airwaves in Chile's spectrum auction in 2009, and plans to launch high speed mobile services in 2011.

VTR, Chile's largest cable TV and broadband provider won a 30-MHz chunk of spectrum in the same auction, and also plans to roll out mobile services.

Meanwhile fixed broadband penetration in Chile reached 10.39% in 2009, according to the results of Cisco's Broadband Barometer published on Thursday.

According to Subtel, the number of broadband subscribers at the end of that year reached 1.67 million. By March 2010, that figure had edged up to 1.68 million.

Источник: Total Telecom

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