Spanish operator, Telefónica, announced plans to deploy fourth generation mobile networks (4G) using Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in Costa Rica prior to the opening of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.
"All the profit you can find in Barcelona, today, will be immediately transferred to the network in Costa Rica when you need it," said Henry White, Global Head of Technology at Telefónica. The executive made the remark at a press conference Sunday, one day before the start of MWC, expected to house more than 60,000 people in 200 countries.
White said that LTE networks will be as common in 2014, but the deployment in each country will depend on the user's needs.
“We want you to see how 4G will be the new smart phone, the experience of the future," he said. LTE tests in rural areas began in Germany in 2011. In the coming months, the experience will be replicated Barcelona, Madrid, Munich and Berlin. In the case of Latin America, Chile and Brazil were chosen for the tests.
Henry Blanco failed to give the names of Latin American cities, but rumored to be large cities "where there is real demand."
LTE in the Region
The executive explained that the significant increases in network traffic associated with the popularity of smartphones and the tablets will determine the use of 4G – A landscape that varies from country to country.
"As the percentage of devices in Latin America will migrate from 2G to 3G, we will be pushing the 4G agenda" White said.
However, Telefonica spokesman said the deployment of fourth generation networks in the countries will be linked beyond the user market volume.
"We will have our nets ready. Telephone technology, politics, events and policy delivery and management structures to support transport of Telefónica is global," said White.
"I can guarantee that all the technology we have in Barcelona at this time will be directly implemented in Costa Rica if the market requires. LTE will depend heavily on policies set by Costa Rican regulators."
Telefónica gave a demonstration of the installed network for MWC 2012 allowing an downloaded speed of up to 60 Mbps, but can reach up to 100 Mbps.
To do this, they are using Alcatel's next-generation small cells, connected with fiber optics. This equipment has the advantage that can be placed on towers, but can be installed in places such as rooftops – A feature that enables faster network deployment.