Brazil’s wireless Internet customers are getting a big boost in speed. Telecom giant Oi has launched its high-speed 4G mobile Internet services in Rio just days after its rival Claro launched their 4G services. These roll outs of new high-speed broadband services are just the beginning. According to reports from the O Globo newspaper, TIM and Vivo are expected to introduce their 4G services next week, with TIM focusing its services in Rio.
The primary targets of the new 4G networks are cities throughout Brazil that will be hosting the FIFA 2014 World Cup but do not yet have 4G services. In the first half of May, Oi is expected to launch new 4G networks in host cities that include Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Salvador, Recife, and Fortaleza.
All of this telecom activity is part of an initiative by ANATEK, the national telecom regulator, to provide at least 50% 4G service coverage to FIFA host cities in time for the FIFA World Cup which begins in June.
What Is the Value of a 4G Network?
The term “4G” refers to the 4th generation of wireless, cellular data transmission standards. It is the successor to the 3G network currently deployed in most areas of Brazil and throughout the world. The primary benefit of the new 4G networks is that the technology is capable of delivering data ten times faster than the aging 3G networks.
In practical terms, the faster 4G network allows both consumers and businesses to experience faster data transmissions on mobile phones and other devices that depend on a broadband wireless network. Internet pages download faster and email is received faster. But perhaps one of the biggest impacts of the increased speed is that broadcasters can stream higher-quality video over the new wireless networks.
Brazil Is Committed to Building a 4G Infrastructure
In February, the Brazilian government announced plans to give telecom companies large tax breaks if they made infrastructure investments totaling between R$16 to R$18 billion before 2016. The tax breaks are estimated to save telecom companies between R$3.8 and R$6 billion, making it easier for them to invest in the towers, equipment, and personnel necessary to build their networks.
Oi is reportedly investing R$800 million to build and launch its 4G network. In addition to the money saved through tax breaks, Oi is saving an additional $200 million by sharing its infrastructure with TIM.
Judging from the speed at which the telecom companies are launching their new 4G networks, Brazil is on course to meet its plans to connect a large part of Brazil with high-speed wireless access just in time for the World Cup.