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Chilean Operator Plans $500 Million CAPEX in 2009

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Chilean telco, Entel has outlined plans to spend up to USD500 million on network upgrades during 2009 with 80% of that being set aside for the company's 3G network.

Entel's president Juan Josť Hurtado told BNAmericas that although the fixed line business has seen a general decline in the last three years, 2008 improved slightly and that justified some investment into the network.

The company also said that it would not be participating in a forthcoming radio spectrum auction due toa 60Mhz holding limit imposed by a previous court order.

"Due to the growth seen in mobile telephony in Chile, we are very close to the limit. That 60MHz was destined essentially for voice. Today, along with voice we have the world of data. As a result, we are very tight on spectrum and to keep growing in the future, we need more spectrum," Hurtado said.

The country has three operators, and figures from the Mobile World notes that their respective market shares at the end of last year were: Telefonica Moviles (43.2%); Entel (37.7%) and Claro (18.9%). Nextel International also operates a network, with a negligible number of customers. The country itself ended last year with 15.9 million mobile phone subscribers, representing a population penetration level of 96.4%.

On the web: Mobile World - BNAmericas

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Tags: entel  capex  nextel  claro  court  auction  Chile