Entel to Invest $618 mn in 2024, Amounting 19.7% of Sales

Entel plans to invest $618 million this year, slightly above its 2023 spending, amounting to 19.7 percent of its total income.
Entel 5GEntel said the primary target of its Capex will be toward Entel’s mobile and home divisions. Entel will keep the majority of the funds – $451 million – for Chile, while another $167 million will go to Entel’s Peruvian unit.

In Peru, Entel is the No. 2 mobile operator, and plans to top 30 percent market share in the next three or four years.

Last year, Entel’s capex in both countries amounted to 476 billion pesos ($522 million), representing a 7.6 percent decrease. CEO Antonio Buchi attributed this reduction to the delayed authorization process for the company’s operation with OnNet in Chile, which primarily focuses on accessing neutral fiber.

Antonio Buchi highlighted the company’s strategic shift towards investing heavily in the home segment and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in both Chile and Peru. With millions of households now accessible to Entel’s services, Antonio Buchi emphasized the need for investments, estimating an approximate expenditure of $200 for each newly connected client.

A significant portion of the investment, approximately US$88 million, will be directed towards the home segment in Chile. Antonio Buchi underscored Entel’s aim to capture between 25 percent and 30 percent of the home internet market share in the coming years, leveraging recent agreements such as the one with OnNet to achieve this objective.

However, Entel plans to reduce investments in other areas such as mobile and business services in Chile by 1.4 percent. Antonio Buchi acknowledged the challenges posed by the industry’s complex landscape but reaffirmed Entel’s commitment to maintaining its leadership position.

In a related development, Chilean operator WOM recently filed for Chapter 11 proceedings in the US District Court for Delaware, indicating further shifts in the telecommunications sector’s competitive dynamics.

Looking ahead, Entel anticipates investing US$286 million in Chile’s mobile business to enhance its 4G and 5G networks, consolidating its position as a leader in mobile connections. In 2023, the company achieved a significant milestone by operating 34.6 percent of total mobile connections and emerging as the top 5G operator, with a commanding 41.5 percent share.

In December, Entel boasted 8.6 million mobile subscribers, capturing 32 percent of the total market share, followed by Movistar (26.6 percent), WOM (21.6 percent), Claro (17.9 percent), and Mundo (0.5 percent), with Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) constituting the remainder.

Shifting focus to the Peruvian market, Entel aims to increase investments by 10 percent to bolster coverage and accommodate rising traffic in anticipation of a growing customer base. The company intends to invest US$131 million in the mobile business and an additional US$16 million in the home segment, with Antonio Buchi expressing aspirations to surpass a 30 percent market share within the next three to four years.

According to data from Peruvian regulator Osiptel, Claro led the mobile market in Peru last year, commanding a 30.2 percent share of the 41.3 million connections nationwide, followed by Movistar (28 percent), Entel (22.5 percent), and Bitel (19 percent).

Entel is also awaiting approval of an agreement with PangeaCo, which would grant access to a fiber network spanning more than 5.2 million homes across 86 provinces in Peru by 2026, further solidifying its presence in the Peruvian market.