Neovia to invest USD15 million in certified WiMAX network

1 Feb 2007

Brazilian wireless broadband provider Neovia plans to expand its São Paulo state network by increasing its number of base stations from 5,000 to 8,000, with an investment of USD15 million in 3.5GHz WiMAX certified equipment manufactured by Alvarion, reports BNamericas quoting local daily Valor Econômico. The operator has offered wireless internet access since 2002 and uses pre-WiMAX equipment supplied by Nera. The move to WiMAX certified equipment is ‘symbolic’ and users will see no change in service, the paper quoted Neovia president Maurício Coutinho as saying. Neovia provides services in 52 municipalities and expects corporate clients to represent 50% of its revenue this year, he added. The company is set to become Brazil’s first active certified WiMAX operator, with Embratel hot on its heels. Embratel obtained Brazil’s only national WiMAX licence in 2002 and was scheduled to launch a pilot project in São Paulo this quarter. Pay-TV operator TVA is also preparing to launch a WiMAX certified service in the southern city of Curitiba by the middle of this year, using the WiBro system developed by Samsung. The government’s plan to auction more 3.5GHz and 10GHz WiMAX concessions is on hold due to a dispute over the bidding rules. Incumbent telecoms operators have challenged a rule forbidding them from acquiring spectrum in their own operating areas.