BrT to offer mobile WiMAX; also exploring PLC launch

21 May 2007

Brazilian telecoms operator Brasil Telecom Participações (BrT) plans to launch a mobile WiMAX service to business customers in the southeastern cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre and Curitiba, according to reports in local newspaper Valor Econômico. BrT hopes to get the service off the ground in Porto Alegre and Curitiba in July, with a launch scheduled for São Paulo in August or September. The operator has been testing mobile WiMAX since 2006 and plans to offer services based on the technology in all its franchise areas. However, its rollout plans are dependent on the progress of 5GHz and 10GHz spectrum licensing, which was originally to have taken place in September 2006 but has been delayed following legal action. BrT’s corporate IP services unit Vant secured licences in the 3.5GHz and 10.5GHz bands in 2003 and the telco now hopes that an auction of 5GHz and 10GHz spectrum will take place in the second half of this year.

In a separate story, BrT is considering plans to launch a broadband internet over power lines (PLC) service in September 2007 as part of a bundled package with IPTV. According to tech news service Computerworld, the operator intends to offer PLC-based access in all of its concession areas once it receives the necessary technical authorization from the telecoms watchdog Anatel.

Brazil, Brasil Telecom (BrT)