Supreme Court Decision Will Not Affect WLL Concessions

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, October 25, 2000
A decision by Chile's Supreme Court to review telecom regulator Subtel's appeal of a ruling by the Antimonopoly Commission will not affect the licensing process of Wireless Local Loop (WLL) concessions, a source at Subtel told "At this moment we are working in accordance with the norm dictated by the Commission," he said. In the appeal, the Ministry accused the Commission of usurping Subtel's powers and attributions as the regulatory body for the telecom industry. The Commission now has an eight day period to present its arguments in the case. Subtel could opt to change the WLL licensing rules in the event of a favorable ruling. The Commission ordered Subtel to make available homogeneous spectrum blocks, no lower than 50MHz and no greater than 100MHz. A single operator may not acquire more than 100Mhz in each concession area. Subtel originally planned to issue three 100MHz WLL concessions on the 3.4GHz-3.7GHz frequency band. However, the commission froze the process in May at the request of local operators Chilesat, VTR GlobalCom and Millicom International Cellular (NASDAQ: MICC), who claimed the concession rules did not provide adequate safeguards for smaller operators competing against incumbents Telefonica CTC Chile (NYSE: CTC) and Entel Chile. Subtel awards licenses based on the best proposal in terms of coverage and network construction time.

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