EmCali selects ZTE for mobile WiMAX rollout

19 Aug 2008

Municipally-owned telco Empresas Municipales de Cali (EmCali) has selected Chinese equipment vendor ZTE to build it a WiMAX mobile broadband network. ZTE said in a statement yesterday that it will deploy a 3.5GHz 802.16e WiMAX network covering Cali, Colombia’s second largest city with two million inhabitants, and the Popayan region. EmCali must launch commercial wireless broadband services by the end of this year to comply with its licence conditions.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, EmCali and ZTE have previously collaborated on projects including the rollout of an IP/MPLS network with integrated VoIP facilities, allowing the telco to launch triple-play voice, video and data services in 2006. In the same year ZTE built EmCali a GSM-based wireless in the local loop (WiLL) network covering 90% of Cali’s population.

The database also reveals that Bogota-based municipal telco Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogota (ETB) also plans to launch commercial mobile WiMAX 802.16e services in Barranquilla, Cali and Medellin by the end of this year. ETB won a nationwide WiMAX licence in January 2006 (32 regions) and subsequently rolled out fixed wireless broadband services in 22 cities; EmCali holds WiMAX concessions for two regions, awarded in January 2007.