• COVID‑19 presents challenges and opportunities as physical thefts rise, while digital services portfolios flourish.

Telefónica: Elsewhere in Hispanoamérica

Telefónica: Elsewhere in Hispanoamérica

Source: Aline Rosa / Unsplash

  • Copper cable theft was reported to have increased across Latin America during the COVID‑19 pandemic, affecting local operators. Telefónica Chile reported a 140% increase in thefts of cables during the first three months of 2020, while reports in Argentina suggested thieves were openly removing Telefónica’s underground cables.
  • Telefónica Chile launched a pilot of Sucursal Segura (“SafeBranch”), a portfolio of digital solutions designed to manage COVID‑19 workplace risks. The package features: a UVC light system; thermographic cameras; sensors for enforcing social distancing and controlling footfall; and sanitisation tools. The operator appears to be testing the solutions internally, through a multi‑store pilot.
  • Telefónica Chile deployed Nokia’s IMPACTCDP Entitlement Server software to support new smart-watches and other wearables. Nokia added that the solution was being rolled out by “other Telefónica affiliates in the region and in Europe”.
  • Telefónica Chile reportedly received the most customer complaints of the country’s operators regarding mobile services between January 2020 and June 2020. Chilean telecoms regulator Subtel indicated it had registered a total of 51,612 complaints against operators during the period, with 95% of the issues relating to Movistar, VTR, and Entel. Telefónica attracted 16,560, compared with VTR’s 13,575 and Entel’s 11,797.
  • The Colombian government kicked off the country’s 5G frequency auction process by opening a call to assess interest in new spectrum assignments in the 700MHz, 1.9GHz, 2.5GHz, and 3.5GHz bands. The auction is expected to take place in 2021, with the call to close in late‑August 2020. In May 2020, Telefónica Colombia began a 5G trial using a temporary 3.5GHz licence (Telefónicawatch, #143).
  • Telefónica Colombia launched Movistar Marketplace, a digital solutions platform targeted at small‑ and medium-size enterprises. Telefónica said 20 offerings are currently accessible through the platform, covering areas including: data analysis; digital training; e‑commerce; market research; process automation; search engine optimisation; and social media management. Some of the solutions originate from Wayra-supported startups including: Atlantia Search (market research), Chaty (payment), ClowdWork (productivity), Crehana (training), Postedin (content marketing), TITANPush (push notifications), and Vendty (point‑of-sale software).
  • Telefónica Peru was fined PEN 612,750 (€142,771) for submitting inaccurate information to the country’s telecoms regulator relating to the maximum rates of its services for the March 2015–May 2015 quarter. The Organismo Supervisor de Inversión Privada en Telecomunicaciones (Supervisory Agency for Private Investment in Telecommunications) also fined rivals Claro PEN 1.9m and Entel PEN 1.1m over the same issue.