An anti-trust court in Chile has ruled that the country’s mobile industry must introduce number portability in order to encourage new market entrants, but has ruled against government recommendations that existing mobile players be restricted from participating in a new mobile license tender. According to a Cellular News report, Chile’s Anti-Trust Office asked the court last year to rule on a number of issues in the sector relating to the introduction of new market entrants. 

As well as number portability, it also proposed the setting of a maximum spectrum band limit of 60MHz for the country’s three mobile operators; Telefonica’s Movistar, America Movil’s Claro and Entel. All three are reportedly either at or close to the recommended 60MHz limit and the government had hoped to put restrictions on them to allow for the entry of a fourth operator into the local market. However, the court ruled that the existing players should not be excluded from the new tenders, which are likely to include 3G services. A fourth licensee is reportedly still likely to be operational by mid-2009. According to Wireless Intelligence, Chile’s mobile market has boomed in recent years and now has market penetration of 92 percent.