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Colombia's Comcel brings 3G launch forward

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Comcel, a unit of Mexico's America Movil, originally said in May that it expected to launch its WCDMA HSDPA network in the first quarter of 2008.

However, Comcel and network supplier Nokia have already spent several months testing the network, often in partnership with makers of 3G handsets.

America Movil has several units working to launch 3G networks. Its Brazil unit Claro plans to bid for 1.9GHz and 2.1GHz spectrum in December, but has already installed 3G infrastructure with a view to providing the service over its 850MHz spectrum. But the authorities have vetoed the 850MHz option since the nation's laws currently restrict 3G service to the 1.9GHz and 2.1GHz bands. Claro is also waiting on the authorities to approve 3G handsets.

The Mexican unit Telcel is expected to launch 3G in January and participate in 1.9GHz spectrum auctions in the next three months.

Outside the America Movil group, Chile's Entel PCS, Uruguay's Ancel, Movistar Argentina and Personal Argentina are examples of operators that have already launched HSDPA networks in Latin America.

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Tags: entel  america movil  movistar  telcel  claro  option  850mhz  Colombia