March 31, 2014
Of the 259 4G LTE networks currently operating, Latin America has 36. In total, 17 of the 97 countries that already use this technology are in this part of the world. Alcatel-Lucent, a leader in providing infrastructure for operators, analyzes the advancement of this technology in the region.
OTT-type online video services (such as Netflix), the rise of mobile devices, social networks, the migration of services and infrastructure to the cloud, online games and the rise of thousands of applications dedicated to improving productivity in work environments , have made 2014 qualify as the year of ‘ultra broadband’.
Over the next few months, not only will technologies such as GPON and Vectoring become widespread, which will enhance mobile networks enabling them to offer incredible browsing speeds, it will also be the period of greatest momentum for fourth generation 4G LTE wireless networks and small cells such as point solution for places with difficult coverage and to absorb the high data traffic to which operators are exposed today
“With the growing demand for content and unlimited connectivity by subscribers, operators in Latin America and the Caribbean (CALA) are rushing to deploy advanced technologies that profitably allow them to meet the needs of their subscribers, grow their businesses and compete in the market ”, explains Esteban Díazgranados, Director of Wireless Solutions for South America at Alcatel-Lucent.
Today, there are 259 4G LTE networks operating commercially in 97 countries in the world. Of these, 36 are in 17 Latin American countries. Puerto Rico (5), Brazil (6) and Colombia (4) are the Latin American countries with the largest number of fourth-generation mobile networks in operation today.
“This has created new opportunities for technology providers such as Alcatel-Lucent. Companies that are capable of providing solutions that make networks smarter, faster and have greater capacity ”, adds the representative of the company, which has become one of the largest providers of network infrastructure for mobile operators in Latin America.
These are, according to Alcatel-Lucent, some examples of how the implementation of 4G LTE technology is progressing in Latin America:
– América Móvil, the largest operator in Latin America, has chosen the 4G LTE technology offered by Alcatel-Lucent for several of its properties in the region. It is a new network that will provide more high-speed mobile broadband capacity to users, allowing them a wide range of services and applications through mobile devices. With this network, América Móvil has greater capacity to offer better speeds and convergent services such as high definition video streaming to a wide range of clients.
– In Ecuador, Alcatel-Lucent and the CNT (National Telecommunications Corporation) deploy the first high-speed 4G LTE mobile broadband network with coverage for the cities of Guayaquil, Cuenca, Machala and Loja, as well as for most of the main cities of the Pacific Coast and the South Zone of Ecuador. The implementation follows a demonstration phase in which benefits associated with greater network capacity and download speeds of up to 100 Mbps were evident, perfect for advanced applications.
– Setar, the leading telecommunications service provider on the Caribbean island of Aruba, decided to implement its ultra-broadband mobile access network for the entire island, also complementing its current 3G network with small cells to ensure greater availability. and speeds in strategic places with a large influx of tourists. The deployment, which marks the launch of 4G services on the island, makes use of 20 MHz of spectrum in the 1800 MHz band frequency to deliver one of the fastest 4G LTE networks in the world, with a high quality experience of use on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.
– Antel Uruguay is one of the most advanced 4G LTE operators in Latin America. Not only was it one of the first to deploy this technology, but recently it made a first expansion, growing and improving the network deployed two years ago. This has allowed the operator to provide one of the best mobile navigation services in the world and users in Uruguay to enjoy advanced applications and consumption of highly demanding content (such as video) with high quality.
Small cells, the other part of the mobile strategy
In addition to the deployments of 4G LTE networks in the region, different operators in Latin America have also chosen to try to improve the efficiency of their current 3G networks. Several operators (including TIM in Brazil, which just announced it at the World Mobile Congress) have decided to integrate femtocells to their 3G network, which currently concentrates its largest user base.
As Alcatel-Lucent explains, these types of solutions do not replace the traditional RBSs (Radio Base Stations) due to limited capacity and power, but have already become popular around the world as an alternative to improve coverage and to support the capacity in areas with a high traffic density, offering good levels of customer service and low environmental impact.
“A heterogeneous cell network involves adding a layer of femtocells (for indoor use) and a layer of small cells (micro-cells and pico-cells for indoor or outdoor use) to the traditional macro cell layer. This technology is already mature in the business and residential segments around the world. There are currently more than 7 million Small Cells installed globally, 60% of which are in the United States, 30% in the Asia-Pacific region, and 10% in Europe. The Small Cells segment for outdoor public use begins to be explored by several operators around the world, including several in Latin America. 2013 was the year in which several operators in Latin America adopted Small Cells solutions and 2014 will be the year in which this technology begins to popularize and gain scale in this region. The need exists and it is the best solution to improve and strengthen the network infrastructure today ”, concluded Díazgranados of Alcatel-Lucent.
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