Chilean wireless operator Entel PCS has awarded Ericsson a contract to provide 2G and 3G W-CDMA core and radio networks, including mobile softswitches and HSPA. Ericsson will have the prime-integrator role and will provide network deployment, systems integration and business consulting services. The HSPA solution will enable Entel to deliver broadband speeds of up to 3.6Mbps, allow it to more than double system capacity and cut down response times for interactive services. On average, users will be able to download 20 times faster than with a GSM/GPRS connection.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Entel PCS launched GSM services in 1998 and added GPRS services to its portfolio in October 2001 at a cost of USD20 million, proclaiming the technology a stepping stone to the introduction of 3G. GPRS was initially only available in the Metropolitan Region and the lucrative Region V, before expanding nationwide. In 2004 parent telco Entel Chile invested USD100 million in its wireless arm, much of it in developing new value added services, including mobile TV-over-GPRS, launched in partnership with the Channel 13 network in March. In the same year it deployed an EDGE data platform, which by the end of 2005 covered more than 50% of the population, including the whole of the Metropolitan Region and Region V.