Movistar Colombia begins deploying 5G

Movistar Colombia begins deploying 5G

Movistar Colombia has begun the deployment of 5G, making it the first operator to roll out the technology in the country.

The company said in a statement on Tuesday that it hopes to put the 5G network into operation in the coming weeks in Colombia’s main cities.

As we reported in December, a number of participants in last year Colombian spectrum auction were awarded 80MHz in the 3500MHz band, including Telefónica-owned Movistar in a joint bid with fellow operator Colombia Móvil (or Tigo), whose CEO Marcelo Cataldo is reportedly eyeing the end of February as a possible date for the launch of 5G.

Colombia will become Telefónica's fifth 5G operation in Latin America, after Chile, Uruguay, Argentina and Mexico.

According to the BNamericas news service, since 2020 Movistar Colombia has carried out seven pilots with the technology. Telefonica has also opened 5G experimentation centres in Chile and other parts of Latin America through its Wayra innovation hub, offering testing environments for solutions and use cases.

In the coming weeks Movistar hopes to have more than 50 devices approved for the new technology.

In a related story, the board of Colombian service provider Une EPM this week authorised a binding agreement between its subsidiary Colombia Móvil (Tigo) and Movistar with the aim of forming a single mobile access network and sharing radio spectrum permits.

Announced last June, the Tigo and Movistar deal will result in the creation of a new infrastructure company for mobile access that will make the management of current networks more efficient and act as a vehicle for the deployment of new mobile technologies. The integration of the two companies' networks would allow coverage of 35 million mobile users in 700 municipalities of Colombia, the partners said last year.

As we reported at the time, in October trade and industry regulator SIC authorized the integration of the Tigo and Movistar networks – but with certain conditions attached to mitigate adverse effects on competition.

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