Uruguay’s ANTEL to launch LTE services

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ANTEL, Uruguay’s government-owned telecom, has said it will launch its commercial LTE network to customers in Montevideo and Punta del Este on Dec. 19.

Named Vera, the Internet service is part of an infrastructure strategy that ANTEL has been developing through the fiber optic project to-home project, which aims to promote widespread Internet access.

ANTEL claims to be the first in Latin America to launch LTE. However, DirecTV’s Latin America subsidiary Sky Brazil launched Dec. 13 broadband wireless services based on TD-LTE (time division duplex long term evolution) network. Earlier, Colombian telecom UNE EPM Telecomunicaciones installed the country’s first antenna signal transmission to LTE commercial operations. The initial deployment is set for the cities of Bogota, Medellin, Barranquilla, Cali, Cartagena and Bucaramanga.

Puerto Rico, the unincorporated territory of the United States in the northeastern Caribbean, also has initiatives in LTE. U.S.-based AT&T  launched its LTE services in six new markets, including San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital, on Nov. 20.

ANTEL has conducted some pilots and trials this year in the cities of Montevideo and Punta del Este, and after guaranteed licenses with regulator URSEC, the company is able to conduct commercial operations. Uruguay’s government this year designated spectrum in the 2.5 GHz and 700 MHz bands for LTE services, and ANTEL announced field trials of the technology in May.

Alcatel-Lucent was chosen to provide end-to-end LTE solution, including LTE base stations (eNodeBs), the IP wireless Evolved Packet Core, and operations and maintenance services. ANTEL will also be using Alcatel-Lucent’s IP portfolio of products for backhaul of mobile traffic.

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