Brazilian MVNO to deploy LatAm's first 5G-ready network

Friday, March 11, 2016

Brazilian MVNO Surf Telecom will set up the first LatAm 5G-ready network in São Paulo metropolitan region, CEO Yon Moreira told BNamericas.

The goal is to have the first activations by the end of this year.

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In December, the MVNO acquired the last LTE frequency covering São Paulo metropolitan region auctioned by regulator Anatel, marking an important milestone for Surf Telecom's wholesale business.

"That means we will be not only an MVNO but an MNO itself," said Moreira, a former director at Telefônica/Vivo and Brasil Telecom (acquired by Oi).

The company plans to deploy between 1,000-1,500 radio access networks in telecom towers in the region, the executive said. Surf Telecom is currently defining the telecom equipment provider.

According to Moreira, it will be a category 5 LTE network capable of delivering speeds of 300MB. The idea is to use a slice of the frequency (5G-slice) to support specific services that require high speed and very low latency, such as self-driving cars.


The type of MVNO license Surf Telecom has within Anatel allows it to provide services to other MVNOs. As such, Surf Telecom is able to set up operations for would-be MVNOs, handling regulatory and technical aspects of the operations, and even outlining a business and commercial model.

As an MVNO, Surf Telecom uses the 2G, 3G and 4G network of TIM. Questioned if the entrance as a direct operator would not distress the business relationship with TIM, Moreira said the operator "was aware" this could eventually happen.

"It is part of the game," he added.