Bus terminals in São Paulo to offer free Wi-Fi

It is expected that 1.5 million daily users will benefit from the service, to be rolled out across 13 sites

Major bus terminals in São Paulo will be equipped with free Wi-Fi provision as part of a wider project to refresh the physical infrastructure of the sites.

Approximately 1.5 million daily users of the 13 terminals included in the connectivity project are expected to benefit from the new service. Passengers will be able to use the service for 60 minutes daily, at an average speed of 10MB.

The roll-out of the gigabit network will be carried out by telecommunications services firm Linktel on behalf of Unitah, the company managing the bus terminals. The implementation is expected to complete in early 2021.

The project marks the first time Internet connectivity is offered in Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest urban center. Wi-Fi is already available in some underground and train stations across the city.

More than 7.500 buses in Sao Paulo (about 60% of the fleet) have been equipped with Wi-Fi just before the municipal elections in November 2020.

However, the contract for the Internet connectivity across the city's bus fleet also included the implementation of a computer in each vehicle. This would in turn enable the roll-out of a monitoring and operational management system with features including the ability to provide real-time updates on bus stops and arrival times to passengers.

According to Brazilian news website UOL, the technology companies competing for the tender to provide the combined service have been caught off-guard with the decision to anticipate the Internet connectivity component of the project, since they had invested about 400,000 reais (US$ 74,000) each to secure the certificates required to roll-out the computers and the system.

São Paulo's Court of Auditors is currently investigating the implementation of Wi-Fi across the bus fleet separately to the system.