Chilean telco Movistar, controlled by Spanish giant Telefónica (NYSE: TEF), plans to work toward establishing national roaming in the country, local newspaper Diario Financiero reported Movistar's president, Claudio Muñoz, as saying.
Currently talking with new industry players in Chile such as telcos VTR and Nextel, the company will announce progress at the appropriate time, Muñoz said, but he added that national roaming could be achieved in Chile. The executive said the company was open to sharing its infrastructure and to developing the initiative with other telecoms operators.
Muñoz explained that national roaming is already possible in countries like Spain, where users can make and receive mobile calls within the country but outside their local coverage areas. He said it is a similar mechanism to that of international roaming and MVNOs.
In 2008, Telefónica signed an agreement in Spain with local operator Yoigo for national roaming in areas where it did not yet have coverage with its 2G and 3G networks.
According to Muñoz, allowing clients to utilize all networks would be a good solution to continue developing the industry in Chile. He said Chileans need to consider what is currently being done in Europe in the way of national roaming.
Muñoz said that besides its benefits for the industry, the national roaming model is profitable as well.