Friday, June 16, 2006

Chile's supreme court authorizes Nextel to start operations

Cellular-News reports that according to Pyramid Research analyst Sergio Cruz, "Chile's supreme court has authorized regional trunking service provider Nextel (S) to start operations in the country, although the delay in launching services will become a competitive disadvantage for the company."

The article states that "Nextel has been very successful in boosting sales of its flagship service Push-to-talk in Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and Peru, but the delay in starting operations in Chile has helped rival operators, such as mobile company Movistar Chile, to launch the service first."

Cruz said, "They will not have the same success they have had in other countries. First of all because competitors already have push to talk, so it is not an innovative service, and secondly because the Chilean market is highly competitive and it is expected to be more aggressive in the second half of the year after [mobile operator] Smartcom launches its GSM network."

Cruz noted that "Nextel holds a 2-3% market share in Argentina, 4% in Peru and a similar figure in Brazil, but when analysing figures only in the corporate market, the numbers increase considerably."

According to the artilce, "after eight years of legal disputes Chile's supreme court, in an unanimous decision on Wednesday (June 14), authorized Nextel to start the technical feasibility studies needed to launch operations in the country. Mobile operators showed their strong opposition to Nextel launching, particularly considering its service represents competition for mobile voice traffic."

Cruz added, "[Besides, Nextel] has been very successful in the way they operate, recording low churn and high ARPUs. The technology they use [iDEN] is good and users like it."