NII Holdings’ Nextel Brasil has agreed a deal with Telefonica Brasil, which operates the country’s largest cellular operator Vivo, to lease network capacity on its network for five years in a deal worth at least BRL1.038 billion (USD473 million). In a securities filing submitted on Monday, Telefonica’s Brazilian unit confirmed that a contract has indeed been signed with Nextel Brasil, with NII Holdings reportedly hopeful of beginning mobile operations in more than 3,000 cities under the plan, on or by 31 July. In a statement Telefonica Brasil said: ‘The contract is part of the company’s initiatives to improve the efficiency and the development of 3G network.’ The company’s filing is in response to an article last Friday in the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper that claimed that the contract value was at least BRL1.270 billion and would cover the provision of 2G and 3G services in 3,259 cities in the country for five years. Telefonica has declined to comment on the exact number of cities served under the deal. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Nextel Brasil launched its own 3G service in Rio and Sao Paulo in September 2013, and to date has signed up more than 850,000 subscribers.