With the rise of online video services, mobile devices, social networks, migration of services and infrastructure to the cloud, online games and many applications which dedicated to improve productivity in the work environment, have made 2014 be described as the year for “ultra broadband”. With the increasing demand for content and unlimited connectivity, operators must rush to deploy advanced technologies.
As of today, there are 259 4G LTE networks operating commercially in 97 countries around the world. Of these, 36 are in 17 countries in Latin America. Puerto Rico, Brazil and Colombia, are the Latin American countries with the largest number of fourth generation mobile networks in operation today.
“With the growing demand for content and unlimited connectivity for the subscribers, operators in Latin America and the Caribbean (CALA) are rushing to deploy advanced technologies that allow them to profitably deal with the needs of its subscribers, grow their businesses and compete in the market,” says Esteban Díazgranados, director of Wireless Solutions Alcatel-Lucent in South America.
An example of how advancing the implementation of 4G LTE technology in Latin America is America Movil, which has chosen the 4G LTE technology provided by Alcatel-Lucent for several of its properties in the region. This is a new network that will provide higher capacity of mobile broadband high-speed users, enabling a wide range of services and applications through mobile devices.
In addition to the 4G LTE network deployments in the region, different operators in Latin America have also trying to improve the efficiency of their existing 3G networks. Several operators (including TIM in Brazil, which has just announced at the World Mobile Congress) have decided to integrate femtocells to its 3G network, which currently focuses its largest user base.
After a year of various releases for fourth generation networks and expanding the penetration of 3G mobile networks in Latin America should still have breath in 2014 for an increase of 10% in capital expenditure (Capex), reaching the sum of $ 6.1 billion. Forecasting at ABI Research released on Thursday, says that spending on infrastructure upgrade and expansion of the radio access network (RAN) in WCDMA and LTE should be 40% of total Capex operators, while investment in base stations will grow by 40% year on year, totaling $484 million.
The analysis of the ABI also stated that there is a priority for investment in core functions such as network packet traffic, as well as value added services (VAS). It is estimated that LTE covered 34% of the population in the region by the end of 2013, with 2.33 million hits. The company anticipates that the database will grow to 23 million in two years, citing the use of technology to provide Internet access where there is no provision of fixed connections.
Written by Fiorello Genovesi