Claro Chile is planning to launch 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services within the next few weeks, the cellco’s parent company America Movil (AM) said in its fourth quarter report. The service will utilise the 2600MHz spectrum awarded to the operator in July last year. The provider ended the year with a total of 6.17 million subscribers, up from 5.54 million a year earlier and booking net additions of 370,000 in the three months to end-December 2012. Revenues from wireless services increased by 18.6% year-on-year, to CLP525.06 billion (USD1.11 billion) for the year ended 31 December 2012.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Claro has lagged well behind its rivals on the wireless internet front, claiming fewer than 700,000 3G subscribers in Q3 2012, compared to the 1.85 million and 1.65 million served by Entel and Movistar respectively. In terms of total subscribers, Claro represented 22.6% of the market at that date, whilst Entel and Movistar held market shares of 38.6% and 38.0%. Whilst its two main competitors also won 2600MHz spectrum last year, if Claro succeeds in marketing the 4G service first, it may be able to close the gap with the leading duo.