Claro first mobile carrier in Brazil to launch LTE

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Claro, the Brazilian unit of América Móvil, became the first carrier to launch LTE services in the country. Claro announced that LTE services are now available in the cities of Recife, Campos do Jordão (SP), Paraty and Buzios (RJ). Commercially branded as 4GMax, the service will be offered as part of phone and modem chip packages.

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Although Claro was granted 40 megahertz of spectrum in Brazil’s June spectrum auction, the carrier started services in Recife using just 10 megahertz. Claro said it will gradually ramp up the service. In the cities of Campos do Jordão, Buzios and Paraty, Claro is using all 40 megahertz of spectrum.

Claro stated that it will meet Anatel’s requirement to provide LTE coverage for all the FIFA Confederations Cup host cities by April 2013. Coverage in the remaining cities will follow Anatel’s schedule.

Located in the northeast, Recife is the capital of the state of Pernambuco. According to Claro, Recife’s entire population is covered with 3G networks, and 93% of the state of Pernambuco’s urban population is covered by the carrier.

Claro is offering packages and plans above 5 gigabytes. The devices compatible with Brazil’s LTE technology are Motorola’s Razr HD, which costs about $314 (R$649), and Samsung’s Galaxy SIII, which costs about $479 (R$999); however, these prices are attached to the company’s contract plan: Claro Unlimited 200 4G. As for modems, Claro offers the Huawei E392 for about $153.50 (R$320) when attached to the contract plan dubbed Claro Internet 5GB. The pricing plans may vary according to region.

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