Mexican-owned cellco Claro Peru has commercially launched an LTE-A network in 160 population centres across nine departments. The service, dubbed ‘GigaRed 4.5G’, provides theoretical peak download speeds of 300Mbps to users in areas of Lima, Arequipa, Cusco, Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad, Ancash, Ica and Huanuco. In a statement announcing the launch, the cellco reminded customers that – in addition to being within the coverage area – they would need a compatible device and 4G SIM. Commenting on the rollout, Claro’s General Director Humberto Chavez, said: ‘The strategy of the new Red Claro not only aims to grow 4G coverage but also to implement the latest technology. So far this year we have grown almost 30% our 4G coverage and we intend to maintain similar growth rates in the deployment of the GigaRed 4.5G. Today more than 100,000 customers who already had compatible mobile devices can enjoy the GigaRed 4.5G service from Claro.’
Movistar Peru, meanwhile, the local unit of Claro’s regional rival Telefonica, made its own LTE-A announcement this week, revealing that its LTE-A system – which it also markets as 4.5G – now covers 80% of districts in Lima as well as areas of Pasco, San Martin, Ancash, Ayacucho, Huanuco and Ucayali regions. The operator also confirmed plans to expand the service to Ica, La Libertad, Arequipa, Piura, Lambayeque, Junin, Cusco and Puno in July, with more regions to follow by the end of the year. As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Movistar’s LTE-A network aggregates spectrum in the 700MHz and 1700MHz bands to provide download speeds of up to 250Mbps. Movistar launched its network in July 2016.