Claro Brasil, the country’s second largest mobile operator by subscribers, has introduced 700MHz LTE connectivity in Rio de Janeiro, TeleTime reports, augmenting its existing 1800MHz and 2600MHz 4G networks. The cities of Porto Alegre, Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte are expected to be next in line to receive Claro’s 700MHz service, the report adds. The cellco brands its carrier aggregation (CA)-enabled LTE-A service ‘4.5G’.
In related news, mobile market leader Telefonica Brasil (Vivo) is expected to follow suit, launching its own 700MHz LTE service in Rio de Janeiro this week. Local site Mobile Time claims that Vivo’s 700MHz LTE network is currently available in 687 cities.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the Brazilian government auctioned off 698MHz-806MHz (700MHz) frequencies on 30 September 2014, generating a total of BRL5.85 billion (USD1.51 billion), well below the BRL7.71 billion target. The country’s three largest mobile operators by subscribers – Vivo, Claro and TIM Brasil – all picked up nationwide spectrum blocks, while Oi, Brazil’s fourth largest mobile operator by subscribers, opted to sit out of the auction. The band – which was previously used to transmit analogue TV signals – is being freed up on a rolling basis, and will be fully cleared by November 2018.