Chilean cellco Nextel has entered the pilot phase of its 3G network rollout, with the service now available to existing customers. Nextel’s W-CDMA network is being deployed by Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) and is currently only available in the cities where Nextel also offers its push-to-talk (PTT) service: Antofagasta, Calama, Valparaiso, Vina del Mar, San Antonio, Rancagua, Santiago and Concepcion. The pilot plan allows existing customers to use up to 1GB of data on a monthly basis. Nextel plans for 3G services to be made fully available in the first quarter of 2012.
Of Chile’s four wireless operators, Nextel was the last to begin deploying a 3G network. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Entel PCS was the first to utilise the platform, with its network becoming commercially available at the end of 2006. Movistar rolled out its own network in December 2007, with Claro following suit a month later.