Claro Chile secures 5G auction victory with bid of US$90mn

Claro Chile wins 5G auction with US$90mn bid and expands mobile market landscape

Claro Chile Wins 5G Auction with US$90mn Bid, Becomes Fourth Operator in the Country

América Móvil’s Claro Chile has emerged as the winner of the second 5G tender in Chile, securing its position as the fourth operator to offer the service in the country. The telecommunications and transport minister, Juan Carlos Muñoz, expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the auction, stating that it aligns with the objective of introducing an additional operator in the 5G spectrum.

The auction, aimed at rearranging the spectrum for more efficient use, saw Claro Chile submit a single offer of 83.5 billion pesos (US$90.1 million) for five 10MHz blocks in the 3.5GHz band, with a guarantee of 45 billion pesos. In comparison, Entel offered 42.4 billion pesos for the spectrum.

As part of the terms, Claro Chile is now obligated to cover 100 new localities and 1,500km of roads with their 5G services. The successful bidder is expected to make a significant investment in expanding and enhancing their network infrastructure.

With this development, Claro Chile joins WOM, Telefónica Movistar, and Entel in offering 5G services in Chile. The country had 4.2 million 5G broadband connections and 22.9 million mobile internet lines as of March, with 5G penetration exceeding 21%. Entel currently leads the mobile market with 35.1% of all connections, followed by WOM, Telefónica, Claro, and VTR Mobile.

However, the mobile business landscape in Chile is undergoing changes, with WOM recently filing for Chapter 11 proceedings and planning to relinquish its 26GHz concession. The future of the ClaroVTR joint venture is also uncertain, with América Móvil potentially becoming the majority owner if Liberty Latin America does not fulfill its obligation to purchase convertible notes.

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