Jessica Lipsky looks at Brazil's plan to improve the mobile infrastructure for cities and rural areas.
With the World Cup well underway, soccer fans and telecom companies are testing 4G infrastructure mandated by the Brazilian government to handle massive user increases. Officials are optimistic about the strength of wireless networks and, despite delays, are moving forward with LTE rollout.
"Operators have invested heavily and, in their mind, are ready for the games," says Chris Pearson, president of the 4G Americas trade group. "It's not an easy task being ready for what is considered the largest sporting event in the world."
In preparation for the games -- which began June 12 and will be held in 12 stadiums around the country -- regulating telecom agency Anatel mandated that host cities with more than 500,000 people must support universal 4G coverage by May 31, 2014. Telecom operators have since installed 164 miles of fiber in the stadiums, 3,700 antennas for 2G, 3G, and 4G access, and 1,014 WiFi antennas, at a cost of US$226 million.
Due to construction delays, six of the stadiums won't have WiFi, which was seen as key to offloading mobile data usage on traditional networks. Storage vendor NetApp estimated that the final match may generate 12.6 terabytes of traffic.
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