GVT prepares for IPTV launch, subject to law change

8 May 2008

Brazilian local telephony and internet access provider Global Village Telecom (GVT) says it is ready to launch IPTV services as soon as it receives the news that the government has amended the telecoms law to allow telcos to broadcast TV content on their networks, reports BNamericas citing GVT engineering and operations VP Cicero Olivieri. The government plans to discuss bill PL29, which would allow telcos to operate as full pay-TV service providers, and GVT says it will wait and see before ploughing ahead as a full service provider. The operator is ideally placed to enter the triple-play arena given that 58% of its 1.37 million-strong subscriber base already takes broadband as well as telephony services. GVT’s network is capable of delivering broadband connectivity of up to 15Mbps. The addition of IPTV would require that a user have access to a minimum 1.5Mbps-2Mbps connection, rising to 6Mbps-8Mbps for HDTV channels. As it stands, around 59% of users have a connection of 1Mbps or greater, Olivieri told BNamericas.

GVT is planning to expand service coverage to three cities in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states and last month said 95% of the company’s CAPEX budget for 2008 would be dedicated to physical expansion of the network, adding that this year’s budget is 15%-20% higher than the USD385 million-USD414 million figure set aside last year. GVT’s primary access technology is ADSL but it plans to evolve to a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) platform to take advantage of next generation services. The operator is active in Brazil’s south and centre west regions where its networks and services cover 75 cities. The company’s VoIP unit Vono ended 1Q08 with 84,000 subscribers, it said.

Brazil, Global Village Telecom (GVT)