5G technology advances in Latin America: Chile launched the first 5G tender

27/08/2020

The Chilean President, Sebastián Piñera, informed that the bidding process for the spectrum for the development of 5G networks has started. With this announcement, which is made concrete with the publication of the bases, a step is taken for the digital development of the country, since a new standard is established in relation to the transmission speeds of mobile data, allowing an exponential leap in the technological advance of both the productive sectors and all citizens.

5G technology advances in Latin America. Stock image
5G technology advances in Latin America. Stock image

During the presentation of the contest rules, Piñera explained that, after two years of work, the first stage will be a technical evaluation of the capacity of those interested and then proceed to determine the best economic offer.

"In Chile, we are behind, we are not advancing with the speed that is required. We want to take a big step forward and incorporate Chile into the world of 5G technologies," he said at a public event.

Likewise, the President informed that the Public Contest will have the obligation to connect in a first stage to the regional and provincial capitals of the country, allowing all the inhabitants to receive the benefits of the new 5G network in an equitable way regardless of their location.

In addition, a public-private digital ecosystem will be created, which will enhance the application of Information Technology tools and contribute to reducing the digital gap that exists in Chile, with a long-term vision and articulated with both the public and private sectors. In fact, in the first stage it will be necessary to connect all the ministries, intendancies, and almost 200 hospitals located in different parts of the country. In addition, experimental 5G network permits will be granted to universities, which can be applied for their own use, public institutions, scientific centers, and companies.

The tender in question will create the conditions for at least four operators to compete in the development of new mobile technologies, ensuring that benefits such as better services and rates can be passed on to all telecommunications users. In turn, it will contribute 0.2% to GDP in direct investment in the first year and 0.5% after the entry of operation at the national level.

The Undersecretary of Telecommunications pointed out that "this contest will allow a qualitative leap in our networks, since 1,800 MHz will be made available to companies to invest in infrastructure, a figure four times greater than the 470 MHz that have been granted in the history of the sector. Likewise, the companies will have the obligation to connect all the regional and provincial capitals of the country, allowing 5G to be deployed with territorial equity. In this line, we hope that the companies will realize the interest they have shown during this last time, by participating now in this contest".

Currently, the 4G network has more than 16 million users in Chile, who will benefit from the new spectrum. For its implementation, the Andean country will need to double the number of antennas deployed, from the current 30 thousand to nearly 60,000 "radiant" in total.

Piñera highlighted that the entry of 5G will join the efforts of a national fiber optic line and the underwater cable that the country is promoting to connect with Asia and Oceania, to promote the development of telecommunications and expand the access of Chilean citizens to services

The Chilean government reported that the investment will amount to between USD 2,650 million and 3,000 million in five years. "We want to take a big step forward and incorporate Chile into the world of 5G technologies," reiterated Piñera.