Vivo Plans 450MHz LTE Mobile Broadband
Vivo is contemplating the use of its dormant 450MHz spectrum to deliver affordable mobile broadband services in rural and underserved areas of the country. The operator would partner with AINMT Holdings to implement the new LTE-based service, leveraging the Scandinavian operator's expertise in using the lower frequencies to deliver wireless voice and broadband services in sparsely populated areas. BMI believes that, by sweating these under-utilised resources, Vivo will be able to cost effectively expand its footprint and bring more rural Brazilians into the digital economy.
Vivo and AINMT Holdings signed a formal memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at exploring the potential of establishing a partnership that would build and operate this network. No further details have been disclosed other than that Vivo's dormant 450MHz spectrum - which was formerly used to provide first-generation analogue cellular telephony services in selected areas of Brazil - will be used to offer voice and broadband services.
Vivo will be able to install new LTE transceiver modules on its existing towers and cell sites in rural areas and, as the 450MHz spectrum is conducive to long-range wide-area coverage, only a small number of new installations will be required to ensure effective coverage. The most significant outlay is likely to be focused on the procurement and distribution of end-user terminals. F ew modern handsets and wireless modems are designed to tap the 450MHz band and these may have to be sourced from specialist vendors. BMI believes dedicated public access terminals will be set up in key towns and villages, rather than putting handsets and computers in the hands of end-users, in much the same way that 1G and 2G services were originally extended into rural areas of Asia and Africa.
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