Following recent permission to launch 5G Standalone (SA) 3.5GHz mobile network services in Brazil’s largest city Sao Paulo, the country’s three leading cellcos Telefonica Brasil (Vivo), Claro and TIM all gave updates on their service offerings in the metropolis.

TIM claimed a 5G SA presence in all city neighbourhoods of Sao Paulo at launch, ‘connecting 91% of the population with the new technology’, and adding that ‘coverage will have 1,150 antennas, more than 1,000 of which will be activated by the end of August, anticipating the evolution of market demand.’ TIM highlighted that ‘browsing speeds can reach the order of Gbps, up to 100 times more than the 4G network’, and lauded the technology’s potential for developing corporate, Industry 4.0 and IoT solutions and stimulating the growth of important sectors of the economy such as education, healthcare, transport and security. TIM is offering post-paid customers a ‘5G booster’ add-on package with an additional 50GB of mobile data, available from 18 August, with those taking up the offer within three months given free usage of the add-on for a year. All compatible smartphone owners can access the new 3.5GHz services, while TIM’s existing multi-band 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) services will continue to operate via Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS).

Vivo initially claimed a 5G SA 3.5GHz footprint in 54 Sao Paulo neighbourhoods, highlighting that it is actively expanding to further areas. Vivo said that from launch ‘user speed experience will be up to ten times faster than 4G’ while noting that it also continues to operate 2.3GHz 5G network services. Vivo added that it currently has around three million consumer (B2C) customers with 5G-compatible devices, with 49 such models in its portfolio and no extra user charges for 5G access.

Claro stated that its 5G SA service in Sao Paulo was available in 52 districts at launch, with expansion to ‘take place gradually’. Claro’s 3.5GHz SA services are branded ‘5G+’ with coverage and capacity augmented by its existing commercial 2.3GHz 5G frequency band. Claro also stated: ‘The initial expectation is to reach speeds between 600Mbps and 800Mbps, reaching up to 1Gbps depending on the size of the cell and the number of terminals in use at the same time.’ The operator also highlighted the importance of 5G upgrades in B2B/IoT markets served by the group’s Embratel division. Claro stressed that no additional payment, change of package or SIM swap was needed to access 5G SA on any compatible device. Claro says it currently has around 2.6 million 5G-compatible smartphones active on its network, with 50 models available in its portfolio.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Brazil’s National Telecommunications Agency (Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes, Anatel) permitted the country’s 3.5GHz spectrum holders to launch 5G SA services in Sao Paulo from 4 August. The previous month, Brasilia was the first location green-lit for SA 5G (4 July), with Belo Horizonte, Joao Pessoa and Porto Alegre (29 July) the next to go live.

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