São Paulo public Wi-Fi scheme will be 40% cheaper

The city will invest $3.5mi in the roll-out of free internet across the city
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer on

The tendering process for the implementation of public Wi-fi spots in the city of São Paulo has been concluded, with the final contract value being 40 percent lower than originally expected.

Praças Digitais (Digital Squares, in Portuguese) is a project that aims at providing free web access to the city of 11 million people, while also preparing for the increased number of tourists that are expected to visit the city during the major sporting events that will be taking place in Brazil in the coming years.

Previously set at R$ 9,2mi ($3.5mi), the final contract value is almost half of the R$15mi ($6.4mi) figure mentioned when tendering process was launched in May - though the figure announced to the press at the time was $22mi. According to the Mayor's office, it was possible to lower the costs associated to internet provision in areas such as the city center, where the necessary infrastructure is mostly in place.


Praca digital novo
Square in São Paulo downtown where the free Wi-Fi trials are taking place. Image credit: Angelica Mari

The contract to deliver the project has been split into four areas and each tender winner could be accountable for a maximum of two areas. Local technology companies WCS and Ziva have won the tendering process which involved other six companies.

Some of the required features of the project include a speed of 512Kbps per user for download and upload, stability and availability of the connections and a management system that can detect and prevent possible issues related to the free access that complies with legal requirements.

The roll-out of the 120 Wi-fi spots is scheduled to start immediately and the expectation is that the project will be delivered by September 2014.

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