Eduardo Tude, President of consultancy Teleco will be speaking on LTE roaming at the LTE Latin America conference, taking place on the 28th-30th April 2014, at the Windsor Barra Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Ahead of the conference we find out his views on how the 4G market will progress in Brazil in 2014 and how LTE will change the user experience.
What progress will be made in the nascent LTE market in Brazil and the wider LATAM region in 2014?
There are LTE networks in 13 countries in Latin America and Brazil, reaching one million 4G subscribers in 2013. The price of 4G smartphones is still the main obstacle for 4G diffusion in LATAM. Teleco expected that Brazil will end 2014 with five million 4G subscribers.
Is there still growth in voice and SMS in the region or will the focus switch to data?
Voice and SMS are still growing in some countries, even in Brasil, but a lower rate. Operators are changing their focus to data services building 3G and 4G networks.
LTE in Brazil uses the 2500MHz frequency. Will lower frequency spectrum be freed up to help with rural connectivity?
Yes, Anatel (the regulator) is planning an auction this year and 700 MHz frequencies will be available on the following years. Operators in Brazil are planning to use 700 MHz frequencies for small and medium cities, roads and rural areas.
The LTE Latin America conference is taking place on the 28th-30th April 2014, at the Windsor Barra Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Click here to download a brochure for the event.
Will LTE roaming become a reality in 2014 and to what extent will it drive revenue for operators?
Some LATAM operators put in place the first 4G roaming agreements in 2013 and these will grow in 2014. These could an important source of revenues in some tourist countries like the Caribbean and during the World Cup in Brazil.
How do you see the MVNO market growing in 2014 in Brazil and will there be a 4G play?
MVNO market is growing slowly in Brazil due to the lack of clear definitions on tax applied to the service. Brazil has only two MVNOs providing M2M services. There is no indication that the issues will be solved in 2014.
What would you pick out as the most important impact LTE will have on consumers in 2014?
I would say video streaming. It is the main service enabled by LTE networks and will grow considerably in 2014.
What are you most looking forward to with regard to the LTE LATAM conference?
I believe that’s a good opportunity to exchange ideas about the LTE growth in the region and what need to be done to speed up this process.