Chile’s Movistar pursues fibre ambitions

Telefónica’s Chilean subsidiary Movistar has connected up half a million homes across the country with fibre and is now getting ready to launch an IPTV service, according to local reports.

Movistar’s General Manager Roberto Muñoz is quoted by Chilean newspaper La Tercera as saying that the company has already deployed 16,000 kilometres of fibre at a cost of US$ 500mn across the capital city of Santiago and major cities including Arica and Puerto Montt.

Muñoz relates that these new fibre connections reach around 500,000 homes and 1,300 large companies, representing 30 per cent of its footprint.

While he concedes that it is not viable to connect all homes with fibre, expanding its footprint is thought to offer many advantages, including the ability to deliver super-fast broadband, mobile backhaul, and IPTV.

On this last point, the Movistar exec adds that the launch of IPTV services in Chile will change the local TV market “in the way as cable TV did in the 1990s”.

Intriguingly, he also mentions a partnership with Microsoft’s Xbox team which will enable the delivery of cloud-gaming services on the IPTV service, using a set-top box rather than the Xbox console.

Revolutionising the Chilean TV market will take time however: Muñoz concedes that mass take-up of the IPTV service will take years, and estimates that achieving the same impact as cable TV did will take five to eight years.

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