Vivo Participacoes, the Brazilian fixed and mobile group controlled by Telefonica of Spain, plans to launch Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in April 2013, according to its CEO as cited by MobileBusinessBriefing. In outlining the group’s plans to upgrade its 3G and HSPA networks, Vivo’s Paulo Cesar Teixeira told delegates at the Business Innovation Forum 2012, in Brazil: ‘We will have four cities in April next year and then another six nearby cities.’ The CEO confirmed that the target cities are those slated to host World Cup games in 2014. Vivo’s LTE service will be branded ‘4G Plus,’ a natural evolution from its existing ‘3G Plus’ service.
Vivo purchased a 2×20MHz block of spectrum in the 2600MHz band suitable for 4G LTE services in June this year, paying roughly BRL1.05 billion (USD500 million). Earlier this month it also announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with AINMT Holdings to explore the possibility of setting up an LTE network in the 450MHz band. The vendor operates in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, and under the MoU, will work with Vivo to help it to provide voice and mobile broadband services in rural parts of Brazil.