Brazilian regional telecoms operator Sercomtel last Thursday signed an agreement with Copel Telecom to provide high speed internet access services to business users in Curitiba, Londrina and Foz de Iguacu. Copel Telecom, which is controlled by the government of Parana, hopes that the agreement will allow the two companies to offer services via fibre-optic networks with maximum speeds of 100Mbps to some 60,000 small, medium-sized and large businesses in the metropolitan region of Curitiba. Sercomtel is 55%-owned by the Londrina state prefecture, with Copel Telecom owning the remaining 45%. Commenting on the tie-up, Copel president Lindolfo Zimmer said: ‘The partnership between Copel and Sercomtel opens a new horizon of performance for the two companies already operating in the telecommunications industry, but in different segments.’ Copel’s existing optical fibre infrastructure comprises a 24,500km ring covering 303 municipalities in Parana state, linking a number of corporate clients and public institutions with the internet. The state government has a target of covering 399 municipalities by the end of 2012, at which date it hopes to own ‘the largest optical fibre network in the country [that] is not operated by telecommunication companies’.
At launch the two companies are offering two packages of services to the corporate market in Curitiba. The first will see Sercomtel delivering voice-based services with Copel augmenting data provisioning via high capacity bandwidth for medium-sized and large corporates in Curitiba and over 16 municipalities in the metropolitan area. The pair’s second package is based on gigabit capable passive optical network (GPON) technology. Copel is offering broadband internet connections in four flavours – based on maximum speeds of 20Mbps, 35Mbps, 50 Mbps or 100Mbps, respectively. Sercomtel’s contribution, which currently covers the central region of Curitiba, is due to be extended through the planned expansion of services to 37 districts of the capital by the end of 2012, before gradually expanding to the rest of the state.