Telefónica, Facebook, IDB Invest and CAF (Development Bank of Latin America) are launching Internet para Todos (IpT) Peru, an open access wholesale rural mobile infrastructure operator which aims to help bridge the digital divide in Latin America.
The goal is to bring mobile broadband to remote populations where conventional telecom infrastructure deployment is not yet economically feasible. The partners say that about 100 million people, 20% of the Latin American population, do not yet have widespread access to mobile broadband and, therefore, to the benefits offered by the digital economy.
IpT Peru's mission is to bridge that digital divide and connect rural communities throughout Peru by enabling any mobile network operator to use IpT's 3G and 4G infrastructure to deliver high quality retail mobile communication services. The work of IpT in Peru is intended to pave the way to replicate this type of business model in other countries on Latin America and the Caribbean region.
Telefónica del Peru is contributing and opening its existing rural business to IpT Peru. Facebook, IDB Invest and CAF are investing in IpT Peru, with the goal of upgrading existing voice services and building new sites to deliver fast mobile Internet coverage in a wholesale Network as a Service (NaaS) model. The agreement is subject to regulatory approval. IpT will offer wholesale access to its rural broadband infrastructure through a revenue share model that would enable mobile operators to deliver communication services to individuals, businesses, and other organisations in rural communities.
It will achieve economic sustainability through partnerships with local communities and by using open technologies that will reduce the cost of deployment in areas where current technologies are cost prohibitive. IpT will take advantage of cloud architectures, automated network planning, open radio access solutions (Open RAN) and a combination of optimised fibre and microwave networks.
According to Teresa Gomes, Managing Director of IpT: "Our new approach will leverage our network as a service to bridge the digital divide as fast as possible while providing any mobile network operator access to rural markets. Our goal now is to launch and scale the project in Peru and prove what's possible to the rest of Latin America and the world.”