Huawei signed a statement of commitment with Brazil's Ministry of Communications to develop LTE technology for use by licensees in the 450 MHz band, which is expected to deliver broadband service to people in remote and rural areas. In exchange, Brazil has promised Huawei incentives, including tax exemptions.
The 450 MHz licensees include Brazil's four largest mobile operators: Telefonica's Vivo, America Movil's Claro, Telecom Italia's TIM and Oi, which is partially owned by Portugal Telecom. They acquired the spectrum in June when Brazil's government opted to include it with the 2.5 GHz licenses that they and other companies won at auction after the 450 MHz licenses attracted no bids on their own. The spectrum auction was something of a disappointment, generating some $1.4 billion in bids for the 2.5 GHz and 450 MHz spectrum, far lower than the expected value of $2 billion.
"While we're getting 50 percent of municipalities in Brazil covered by Internet broadband, in the rural area it does not reach 10 percent," said Brazil's Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo during the signing ceremony with Huawei, according to an RCR Wireless article. He predicted deployment of the new mobile broadband technology could raise rural coverage to 70 percent by the end of 2014.
Huawei has long participated in efforts to promote the 450 MHz band for broadband use in rural and remote areas. Back in 2004, for example, the company joined with the CDMA Development Group and the International 450 Association to demonstrate the use of CDMA2000 1X and EV-DO in the 450 MHz band during an event in Argentina.
In April 2006, the International 450 Association and the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) of the Organization of American States announced a cooperative agreement to further the harmonious development of telecommunications in the Americas. In addition to Latin America, the association targeted the Nordic countries, Eastern and Western Europe, Asia Pacific, Central Asia, Russia and Africa as candidates for CDMA deployment in the 450 MHz band, and a number of deployments were made throughout the 2000s.
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