In our fourth report on mobile network experience report in Uruguay, every mobile operator wins outright in at least one category. Antel continues to claim both speed awards — Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience — along with the 4G Coverage Experience award. Movistar comes first in 4G Availability and Games Experience — ending the three-way tie for the latter that existed in our last report and claiming sole victory. Claro wins the Video Experience award, while Claro and Movistar remain joint winners for Voice App Experience.
Uruguay made history in April 2019, when Antel claimed to have launched the first 5G network in Latin America, using the 28 GHz band and infrastructure supplied by Nokia. However, Antel’s 5G deployment was pre-commercial, with the limited coverage and targeted at business customers — the operator is yet to offer 5G services to individual smartphone users. Antel’s 5G network is still in the testing phase, with trials conducted in inland areas. The operator has invested heavily in its operations — $134 million in 2020 and plans to spend a further $152 million in 2021, partly to increase its 4G territorial coverage to 99% between 2021 and 2022, especially in towns with less than 500 inhabitants.
Uruguayan policymakers are working on facilitating further 5G roll-outs in the country. URSEC confirmed that the country is preparing on a new 5G-focused spectrum and connectivity policy, to deliver high speed mobile internet services across the country. The regulator will also give permission to mobile operators to proceed with 5G pilots, based on temporarily assigned spectrum in the 26 GHz band — and it is also considering the assignment of the 3.5 GHz band for 5G services.
Antel might have launched 5G in 2019, but it still intends to develop its 4G network. The operator has invested heavily in its operations — $134 million in 2020 and plans to spend a further $152 million in 2021, partly to increase its 4G territorial coverage to 99% between 2021 and 2022, especially in towns with less than 500 inhabitants.
In this report we have examined the mobile network experience of the three main mobile network operators in Uruguay: Antel, Claro and Movistar; over the period of 90 days starting on January 1, 2021 and ending on March 31, 2021.