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Chile Communications

Thanks to a healthy economy and early market liberalization, Chile’s telecom market is the most mature in Latin America. A high level of development has been achieved through investment, competition and innovation. Chile is the regional leader in terms of mobile penetration (around 80%), Internet user penetration (around 40%), and broadband penetration (over 6%). Telecoms laws need to be amended, however, in view of technological innovations and the use of multi-service networks. Regulatory issues include Number Portability, Local Loop Unbundling (LLU), Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), WiMAX, tariff deregulation and convergence.

There are 1,033,803 broadband Internet connections in Chile as of December 2006, according to a quarterly study titled Barómetro de la Banda Ancha made by International Data Corporation Chile and published by Cisco. This is a 45.4% increase from December 2005. The number of home broadband connections is 848,233 (83% of all broadband connections), which is equivalent to a 20% penetration of Chilean households. The Chilean region with the largest broadband penetration rate is the Antofagasta Region with 11.6 per 100 inhabitants, surpassing the Santiago Metropolitan Region (9.2 per 100 inhabitants). The nationwide broadband penetration rate is 6.8 per 100 inhabitants.

Chile boasts a modern fixed-line network, fully digitised since 1993. Yet, mostly due to fixed-mobile substitution, the fixed-line sector remains flat. The local telephony market is served by 12 operating companies, with incumbent Telefónica Chile holding 70% of all lines in service. Cable TV operator and triple player VTR Globalcom is the number two local telephony provider, with a 12% share. The long-distance sector is one of the most competitive in Latin America, despite ongoing consolidation. VoIP and WLL have been the subject of legal battles between operators. This report provides an overview of Chile’s telecom infrastructure, together with profiles of all major and some minor fixed-line operators, accompanied by relevant statistics.

At around 78%, Chile’s mobile penetration is second only to a few Caribbean islands. Mobile subscribers outnumber fixed-line connections by almost four to one. Mobile competition is fierce, with four mobile service providers fighting over market share: Telefónica’s Movistar Chile, Entel PCS, América Móvil’s Claro, and trunking operator Nextel Chile. The latter finally launched iDEN services in December 2006 after six years of legal battles over interconnection. In 2007, the government may be launching a 3G auction, which would be open to both new and existing players.


Telephones - main lines in use
3.436 million (2005)

Telephones - mobile cellular
10.57 million (2005)

Telephone system
general assessment: modern system based on extensive microwave radio relay facilities
domestic: extensive microwave radio relay links; domestic satellite system with 3 earth stations
international: country code - 56; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations
AM 180 (8 inactive), FM 64, shortwave 17 (1 inactive) (1998)

Television broadcast stations
63 (plus 121 repeaters) (1997)

Internet country code

Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
7 (2000)

Internet hosts
506,055 (2006)

Internet users
6.7 million (2005)





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