LIVE FROM ERICSSON BUSINESS INNOVATION FORUM 2012, BRAZIL: Telefonica’s Brazilian unit plans to launch LTE services in April 2013, according to the CEO of the country’s largest operator.
Outlining the carrier’s aim to upgrade its 3G HSPA network, Paulo Cesar Teixeira told delegates: “We will have 4 cities in April next year and then another 6 nearby cities.” Teixeira said the chosen cities will be those that are scheduled to host World Cup games in 2014.
The LTE service will be branded ‘4G Plus,’ a natural progression from its existing 3G Plus service.
In June this year Telefonica’s Brazilian unit – Vivo – purchased 2x20Mhz chunks of LTE spectrum in the 2.6GHz frequency band. It paid around BRL1.05 billion (US$500 million) for the spectrum. In total the country netted BRL2.72 billion from winnings bids from Vivo, America Movil’s Claro, TIM Brasil and Oi.
Although the largest operator, Vivo may not be first to market with Brazilian LTE services. Number four operator Oi last month outlined plans to achieve 50 percent coverage in seven Brazilian cities also by April 2013.