Pope visit prompts Brazilian telcos to up their game

Temporary improvements have been introduced to cope with the predicted increase in voice and data traffic
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer

As millions are expected to attend the events around Pope Francis' visit to Brazil for the World Youth Day (WYD) this week, local mobile operators have rushed to improve the communications set-up in key areas of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

About 50 new 3G and 4G masts were set up around Rio, according to telecoms union SindiTeleBrasil. Fiber optic networks also received a capacity boost and Wi-Fi networks were set up - especially around Copacabana beach, where several WYD events will take place.

According to the union, the telcos based their increased capacity plans in Rio on a typical New Year's Day scenario, as millions also attend the festivities at the beach every year. Some 520 staff from the various mobile operators have been allocated to projects around the WYD.

At the Campus Fidei site in Guaratiba, where the Pope will be celebrating two masses, a brand new telecoms infrastructure was built, with 18 antennas and 10 mini radio masts with 2G, 3G and 4G services, as well as Wi-Fi access points.

The episcopal palace at the Sumaré hills, which will be the Pope's base in Rio, has also received new mobile masts and improved indoor Wi-Fi coverage.

In Aparecida, a pilgrimage site in the countryside of São Paulo state, four temporary mobile masts were installed around the Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida.

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