Telefónica Brazil is starting its first trial to virtualize customer premises equipment (CPE). The telecom operator is partnering with NEC Corporation for the trial. The CPE solution is expected to simplify the home equipment installation process, and in the process, Telefónica’s broadband network access and connectivity. According to the telecom, the solution’s simplicity and capacity to reduce breakdowns and other incidents provides flexibility, efficient maintenance and new-service rollout capability.
Telefónica noted that this move represents a new phase of the joint strategy being implemented by the two companies for the development of innovative software-based and virtualization-based network solutions. The solution, which came out of a prototype developed by Telefónica I+D, with contributions and integration by NEC, enables certain IP functions to be shifted away from the residential gateways (the equipment installed in the customer’s home) toward the carrier’s own network. As a result, end users can experience rapid service deployment, and improved network operation and maintenance benefits.
Following the trial, the objective is to have a solution ready for deployment by July 2014. The vCPE forms part of the NEC Telecom Carrier SDN Solutions.
Mexican recharge market— Since Mexico has 86.4 million prepaid lines and 2.4 million customers under hybrid plans, 87 out of 100 Mexican mobile customers are potentially using the recharge method of payment to add credits to their mobile lines. This portion of the mobile market is estimated to have generated approximately U.S.$10.62 million in 2012 , equivalent to a third of the total received by the segment. The number is expected to triple in the next two years.
New chip—Oi launched a “double cut chip” to serve customers who want to have both SIM Card and Micro SIM formats. The new chip was developed in partnership with Oberthur Technologies to house the newly released Oi Galera plan. Oi aims to provide a better user experience, allowing customers to exchange phones without having to replace the chip. These two types of chips cover the majority of handsets available on the Brazilian market. The new chip model will be available for all of the carrier’s plans and packages starting in 2014.
M-banking—Movistar Colombia launched Daviplata y Ahorro, which offers Movistar customers the ability to make balance inquiries, wire and transfer money, withdraw cash, pay bills, recharge their mobile phones and perform other transactions without the need for a bank account. Customers can find a list of banks to enable these services on the menu of the phone’s SIM card. After inserting their name and ID to open an account, they are able to start making transactions. There is no handling fee, and the banks charge between $200 and $ 1,300 Colombian pesos, depending on the service the customers use.
More Latin America news:
- Mexico is planning to invest about U.S.$300 million in satellite technology between 2014 and 2018. The goal is to have images from the Earth to create a better early warning system for natural disasters.
- Chile ported nearly 62,000 mobile numbers in September.
- In Cuba, connecting to the Internet costs four times the average annual salary.
- El Savador plans to auction 40 MHz in the frequency band of 1.9 GHz and 20 MHz and in the AWS (1.7/2.1 GHz).
- Telefónica Digital and Pinterest have entered into a global partnership to bring the Pinterest widget to millions of Telefónica’s Android customers throughout Latin America and Europe. O2 customers in the UK will be the first to benefit, getting exclusive access to the widget.
- Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) will launch long term evolution (LTE) mobile data services later this year as part of its Christmas marketing campaign in the Bahamas. In this region, CWC trades as The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC), and it has been granted a 15 year license to provide LTE mobile data services on the 700 MHz radio frequency. The network upgrade will be undertaken by Huawei and will be phased with services initially available in New Providence, the most populated island.
- Gemalto and Chilean Entel are partnering to provide customers with the Facebook for SIM software application, giving subscribers mobile access to Facebook, even for subscribers without data plans.
- 4GAmericas forecasts that 70% of Brazilian mobile subscribers will have data plans by 2017.
- On Oct. 10, Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, signed law no. 12,865 which among other things, regulates the use of mobile payments using electronic messages such as SMS to make transactions. The Central Bank has until November to introduce specific rules to facilitate the use of cell phones as means of payment.