Chile gets ready for 5G as DSS-enabled rollout begins in Argentina

Chile gets ready for 5G as DSS-enabled rollout begins in Argentina

There’s been interesting spectrum-related news from South America recently – much of it related to rollout plans for 5G in Chile and Argentina.

According to the Bnamericas website, Chile’s regulator Subtel has now announced the results of its 700MHz spectrum tender. WOM, which is controlled by the UK fund Novator Partners, apparently outbid Finnish group Borealnet’s bid in a run-off round to gain 20MHz in the 700MHz band, boosting its spectrum holding to about 80MHz.

Of the four auctions the country is carrying out for mobile broadband services, AWS (1,755-1,770MHz and 2,155-2,170MHz) and 3.5GHz remain to be awarded. Earlier bids were tied, so a run-off is expected. However, the 26GHz auction is now complete. We should know which of the three bidders (WOM, Claro and Borealnet) get AWS and which (out of WOM, Claro, Borealnet, Entel and Movistar) get 3.5GHz spectrum by mid-February.

Much of this spectrum is likely to be used for 4G LTE or 5G services, but, in neighbouring Argentina, Telecom Argentina is already rolling out what it calls the first 5G network in the country – using existing spectrum.

The operator is using technology from Nokia and Huawei and, as is the case for quite a lot of operators waiting for a regulatory body to define 5G spectrum, this rollout involves dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS); Telecom Argentina will use existing compatible bands suitable for 5G together with 4G.

The operator has enabled 10 5G sites to date: five of them were deployed in Buenos Aires, using Huawei´s equipment, and another five in Rosario, with assistance from Nokia.

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