In the wake of its successful acquisition of 4G wireless frequencies in the regulator Anatel’s auction, Brazilian owned telecoms group Oi SA has announced plans to invest BRL24 billion (USD12 billion) between now and 2015 – including BRL6 billion in 2012 alone, BNAmericas quotes the firm as saying. Oi SA, which was formed through the restructuring of Telemar Participacoes’ former operating divisions Brasil Telecom, Tele Norte Leste Participacoes, Coari Participacoes and Telemar Norte Leste, won the fourth and final 2.5GHz national lot prompting its president Francisco Valim to say: ‘With the acquisition of the national blocks in the 2.5GHz frequency, Oi aims to optimise its access to 4G technology – which allows speeds of up to 100Mbps – and to strengthen market competitiveness. This frequency is ideal for transmitting large amounts of data in large urban centres.’ The carrier says that more than half the CAPEX commitment will be diverted to improving its broadband infrastructure, which will include increased coverage, the enhancement of its transport network and new service launches. Oi SA’s high speed internet service platform will comprise a range of technologies, including fibre-to-the-home (FTTH), Wi-FI, 3G and 4G, it added.
In a related development, Oi SA says it has successfully completed laboratory and field test trials of Long Term Evolution (LTE) devices in the 2.5GHz, which will form the core of its 4G services in the country. The carrier has been conducting tests since last year in a number of cities in Rio de Janeiro state, and using different network topologies, via tie-ups with the likes of Huawei Technologies (in the city of Araruama), Alcatel-Lucent (Cabo Frio), Nokia Siemens Networks (Itaguai), ZTE (Macae) and Ericsson (Teresopolis). Commenting on the trials, Oi SA development and engineering director Luis Alveirinho said: ‘We evaluated the characteristics and technical performance of the equipment from five LTE vendors and now we have a more precise idea about the functionality of the technology and about the most suitable architecture to obtain the highest broadband speeds with lower latency.’ Oi has also been trialling broadband services in the 450MHz band, it said.