Brazilian government to focus on 4G expansion

New national broadband plan intends to focus on mobile coverage to drive digital inclusion
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer

A plan to significantly boost the 4G coverage in Brazil will be the bedrock of the new national broadband plan, to be launched by the government at the end of the first quarter of 2017.

According to a statement released by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications (MCTIC), boosting 4G is essential since the sheer size of the country and areas of low demographic density make cable networks way too costly.

As well as lower cost of implementation, the government considers that the population places more value in mobility improvements. According to a study from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, mobile represents 92,1 percent of all internet accesses in the country.

In addition, 4G is deemed to be one of the most effective technologies to boost digital inclusion. This is due to factors that are expected to improve service provision, including the release of the 700MHz band, previously used for analogue television and regulation changes that allow infrastructure sharing by providers.

One of the pillars of the new national broadband plan is to enforce 4G availability mandatory in cities with population under 30,000 people, where the cable network tends to be under developed, by the end of 2017.

Last year, the Brazilian government had promised a revamped national broadband plan, with more government investment and the creation of "synergies" between the public and private sector to deliver improved Internet access services across the country.

Then in November, R$15bn ($4.5bn) from the federal budget was committed to the creation and improvement of broadband projects.

The resources will be distributed as tax relief across 1167 projects operating under a scheme created to stimulate the deployment and expansion of the country's broadband network.

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