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Fourth Brazilian operator readies LTE network build-out

In an ambitious move, a major Brazilian operator is aiming to provide LTE coverage to seven cities by April 2013. Oi, the fourth-largest player in the South American country, will invest BRL1 billion (US$493 million) into its network over the next three years.

The goal was announced by the operator’s chief executive Francisco Valim during the launch of a 4G network in Rio de Janeiro at the start of this month. He also noted that the operator would finalise supplier contracts for 4G equipment later on in the month.

Brazil’s government has stipulated that the host cities for the 2014 football World Cup must have 4G coverage in time for the event. The country’s four leading operators each acquired 4G spectrum in June this year, raising a total of BRL2.72 billion at auction.

The highest bid was entered by Telefonica subsidiary Vivo for BRL1.05 billion, while America Movil’s Claro was the second highest bidder with BRL844.5 million. TIM Brasil’s BRL375 million put it in third place, while Oi bid BRL345 million.

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