Torres del Paine National Park

Antarctica: Chile Launches World's First 5G Network

"Villa Las Estrellas" Outpost in Chilean Antarctica Joins 5G and Digital TV Network


March 2024
The Chilean Minister of Transport and Telecommunications, Juan Carlos Muñoz, together with the Undersecretary for the Armed Forces, Galo Eidelstein, visited the Antarctic Base Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva to learn about the deployment of a 5G internet connection enabled in the area by the company ENTEL.

The authorities emphasized that with this implementation Chile completes the deployment throughout its territory, being the only one in Latin America and one of the few in the world to connect the entire country with this technology, which will have a significant impact on the quality of life of the inhabitants of this community located in one of the most extreme areas of the planet. Before this deployment, the inhabitants of the base who had mobile devices did not have an optimal connection, which changes from now on thanks to 5G.

"It is very important that the state is here to serve them, to provide this kind of support. Now they will be able to have a much better connection for their daily work, but also for research, and also so that these people can have a better contact with their families, with their friends on the continent. The residents of Villa la Estrellas told us how different it is now to be able to have a video conference or do their homework with their children who are on the mainland and have a much closer connection. We are very happy with what we are celebrating, and it comes with the arrival of digital television, which also allows us to have much better signal, with a greater variety of channels," said Minister Juan Carlos Muñoz.

As part of the visit, the first 5G video call from Chile's Antarctic territory to the continent was received by the Minister of the Interior, Carolina Tohá, along with the Minister of Defense, Maya Fernández, and the Undersecretary of Telecommunications, Claudio Araya.

"Technology allows us to be closer, because the way we communicate, know each other and exchange information is mainly through digital media, and having this connection will mean in practice and experience a greater closeness," said Minister Tohá.

For her part, the Minister of Defense, Maya Fernández, in addition to recognizing the contribution of the measure, added that "from the point of view of our sovereignty, this is another example of Chile's concern for the Antarctic territory. This will allow many people to communicate with their families, who are far away, but closer. I think that when we talk about our presence, about our Antarctic sovereignty, I think this is great news. It is a good day, especially when you think about the crews in Antarctica, it is important that they are there and they can communicate with their loved ones.

From ENTEL, the company responsible for enabling 5G in the remote territory, General Manager Antonio Büchi said: "Connecting remote or isolated places in our country has been in Entel's DNA since its creation 60 years ago. Our mission is to bring the infinite possibilities of technology to all Chileans, and we are delivering. Bringing 5G to Antarctica was a huge challenge, especially from a technical point of view, and we are very proud to say that we were pioneers in the world in delivering a public 5G network to our customers, especially in these times when connectivity and communication contribute tremendously to the quality of life of people, especially in such geographically isolated places".

It was also announced that TVN (Chile's public television network) will broadcast a digital signal in the Antarctic territory, improving the image quality received by the inhabitants of Villa Las Estrellas. Additionally, an agreement between the Undersecretary of Telecommunications (Subtel) and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) has been reached to conduct a feasibility study of a possible submarine fiber optic cable connecting the continental territory with the Chilean Antarctica.