TIM Brasil became the first Brazilian telco, and one of the first in Latin America, to launch a narrow band IoT (NB-IoT) network for commercial use.
The network is being activated in the Minas Gerais state city of Santa Rita do Sapucaí in partnership with Ericsson, which is the supplier of the IoT Accelerator platform, and with Brazilian ICT institute Inatel, which is providing the software to be used by the IoT applications.
Ericsson Brasil CEO Eduardo Ricotta had given BNamericas advanced notice of the initiative in May.
The NB-IoT network will use the 700MHz frequency, which reportedly increases by up to 40% the coverage reach compared to the use of smartphones on the same band, for example. The companies said they want to create an IoT ecosystem for the use of municipalities in the health, education and public security verticals.
Brazilian research financing agency Finep is to allocate 1.5bn reais (US$400mn) for IoT and advanced manufacturing projects with applications in health, industry, agribusiness and urban development.
The financing line, dubbed Finep IoT, was launched Tuesday at the fund's headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. The program is due to remain in place until the end of the year and falls under Brazil's industry 4.0 plan announced in March.
In order to offer more attractive credit, Finep said it will offer loans at an interest rate based on the TJLP rate less 1%.
Depending on the degree of innovation of the projects, Finep can finance up to 90% of a project. The grace period is a maximum of 48 months and the term can reach 12 years, also depending on the level of innovation. Companies with gross operating revenue starting at 16mn reais are entitled to participate.
More information can be obtained here.