Four IT companies - Telcordia Technologies, Indra, El Corte Inglés and Neustar - on Monday presented technical and economic offers to manage Chile's number portability database.
The companies now have to go through three processes - administrative, technical and economic - said Cristián Cortés, board director of the number portability committee, which will study and award the contract.
Once it is verified that all the required documents are included, authorities will check the technical offers to evaluate how bidders propose to set up the database management system and within what timeframe.
According to the bidding rules, the system would have to be up and running 120 days after the contract is awarded.
Cortés, who is also regulation manager for Telefónica Chile, told BNamericas that the economic offers will be opened July 25 and the official awarding ceremony will be August 5. The economic offers will include two variables - an offer of how much investment would be required and how much will be charged per transaction.
Cortés estimated that each operator would be required to invest US$5mn-10mn to set up the infrastructure.
Roberto Gurovich, a consultant working with the process, underscored the fact that the four companies presenting offers were those with most experience in number portability worldwide.
He told BNamericas that NP's most important benefit is not to encourage customers to switch operators, but rather to encourage operators to improve quality of service and do more to encourage their customers to not want to switch.
"One natural effect of portability is that operators improve their commercial offerings so the customer doesn't leave them. And that's good news. How many people may port once this system is introduced? If all the companies do their job properly, I'd say none," Gurovich said.
Antonio Vasquez, legal representative for Telcordia Technologies, and Gabriela Lago, senior director for Neustar, told press that Chile's strong economy and tradition as one of the most innovative telecommunications markets in Latin America had encouraged them to participate in the bidding process.
Telcordia has an NP contract in Mexico, Neustar in Brazil and El Corte Inglés in the Dominican Republic and Peru.