Vivo aims to expand HSPA+ to other regions in medium term

Friday, November 25, 2011

Following a testing phase in the the metropolitan region of São Paulo, Brazilian telecom operator Vivo (NYSE: VIV) is likely to expand its HSPA+ technology offer to other regions of the country in the medium term, the carrier's products and broadband director Fábio Freitas told BNamericas.

Freitas underlined, though, that so far there is still no clear schedule for the expansion.

HSPA+, a migration up from 3G and considered a step previous to LTE/4G, was recently commercially launched in São Paulo. The technology is being marketed by Vivo as 3Gplus.

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According to Freitas, Vivo has been carrying out tests with HSPA+ technology for over a year.

Vivo is offering the services through ZTE's modems and Samsung's smartphones and tablets, he said.

"We are always investing in the data field, in promoting the best connection and 3G quality for our clients," said Freitas. "We are also always investing in our coverage."

Freitas highlighted that the entire network is ready to receive HSPA+ technology, adding that while it is only commercially available in the São Paulo metropolitan region, "a client who acquires the services in São Paulo can make use of it anywhere in the country where we currently operate."

The executive declined to comment on whether investments in boosting 3G coverage and quality are a sign that Vivo will not prioritize 4G, as indicated by some competitors such as TIM (NYSE: TSU). The federal government is expected to tender the 2.5 GHz frequency bands, aimed at 4G, next April.

"We are dealing with 4G in a strategic way, but we are not commenting any more on that," said Freitas.