Now that Brazil's auction of 4G spectrum has wrapped up, Nokia Siemens Networks is committing to an aggressive pursuit to secure more than one-third of the infrastructure market.
Aluizio Byrro, NSN's regional chairman said the company, which has 35 percent of Brazil's 3G market, wants to duplicate that share in LTE. "We don't want to let go of a single percentage point," Byrro told Reuters.
Latin America contributes 10 percent of NSN's revenue and NSN has realigned its corporate focus to concentrate primarily on providing broadband infrastructure and related services in the Americas, Japan and South Korea.
NSN has already installed LTE equipment for Sky Brazil--a subsidiary of DirecTV and Brazil's largest satellite TV operator--which launched LTE late in 2011 in Brasilia.
Byrro told Reuters that NSN is negotiating with a local partner in Brazil to start producing LTE equipment by September, though NSN is holding off on building its own factory for the time being. Brazil's auction rules specified that 60 percent of the goods used in licensees' new networks be locally produced.
The 4G auction was something of a disappointment, generating only $1.4 billion in bids for 2.5 GHz and 450 MHz spectrum, far lower than the expected value of $2 billion. The 450 MHz spectrum was tacked onto the more desirable 2.5 GHz licenses and must be used to extend mobile services into rural areas.
Among the auction winners were Sky Brazil, which gained 12 regional spectrum licenses for fixed broadband offerings in states including Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Tycoon George Soros' Sunrise also bought licenses for fixed broadband service in Sao Paulo.
The auctions top winners were Telefonica's Vivo and America Movil's Claro, which each walked away with 40 MHz of spectrum. Telecom Italia's TIM Brasil and Oi, which is partially owned by Portugal Telecom, each won 20 MHz.
Brazil's telecoms regulator, Anatel, is requiring winning bidders to offer mobile broadband service over their new spectrum by next April in the six Brazilian cities hosting soccer's Confederations Cup. Winners will also have to launch service by the end of 2013 in the dozen cities staging the 2014 Fifa World Cup. Further, winners must roll out LTE to all state capitals and cities with more than 500,000 people by the end of 2014 and to all towns with at least 10,000 residents by 2016.
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