Rogerio Takayanagi, CEO of TIM Fiber, Brazil, is speaking on Day One of the Broadband LATAM conference taking place on 2-3 July 2013 at the Grand Hyatt, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Ahead of the show we speak to him about how Brazil’s broadband infrastructure is developing at a pace and how TIM Brasil is readying itself for the rapid expansion of demand for data in the country in time for the World Cup and Olympics.
The world’s eyes will be on Brazil in time for the upcoming World Cup and Olympics. What are you doing to get your networks ready for the data onslaught?
TIM has been constantly investing in its network improvement. Intelig’s acquisition in 2009 and AES’ in 2011 gave us more than 20,000Km of fibre in Brazilian territory, generating a network with more strength and resilience and a company with clear priorities. By the end of 2015 we’ll have near 80 per cent of the urban population covered with 3G, in addition to the LTE service we will launch in 2013, covering the 12 World Cup cities. The total amount invested in infrastructure will be above BRL10bn in the next two years. I believe that despite the data peak, TIM customer’s and our visitors will have a great experience during the events.
Brazil has not enjoyed the fastest broadband speeds up to now. How are you going about improving this and what technologies are you currently rolling out?
Despite the low average speed in Brazil, the market for higher speed is growing, and we’re playing an important role on this process. Our value proposition with Live TIM is centred exactly on delivering an ultra-broadband experience, offering 35Mb as the entrance speed.
We have an innovative and disruptive network architecture (FTTC), which is a hybrid solution between fibre and VDSL, instead of mainstream FTTH. It drives expansion complexity down and has a relatively low CAPEX. This is a central pillar in Live TIM’s strategy, as it not only optimises the deployment process but also home passed costs.
How are you going about making broadband more affordable for the general population?
We can offer more speed for less due to our network architecture (FTTC), which enables a high quality product at a very competitive price. Our offer is unique in the market, as we have ultra-broadband solo, with no bundles, such as Pay TV or fixed-line and no fidelity contract or fines. This is a major difference in a market dominated by bundling offers.
Regarding our geographic expansion, in 2012 we covered most areas with high ‘A/B classes’ concentration. In 2013 we have entered Class C and in 2014 we plan to focus on Class C concentration areas of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
What are your plans around 4G?
We plan to launch the service this year in six cities hosting the Confederations Cup, and over the course of the year, all the 12 cities of the FIFA World Cup 2014, sticking to Anatel’s (The Brazilian Agency of Telecommunications) minimum coverage requirements.
How important is wifi offload to your rollout plans?
Wi-Fi offloading has gained significant relevance, delivering great cost and performance benefits to operators, as well as superior customer experience. We believe wifi offload for 3G is essential as data traffic and users increase, driving convenience and faster speeds usage, that’s why it’s part of TIM group strategy to improve customer satisfaction. It is a customer driven strategy.
Many of the larger operators have either deployed their own wifi hotspots or established partnerships with wifi access wholesalers, and hybrid networks are an important wave of the next years. So TIM Fiber rollout is part of this strategy, as our network helps developing spots in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro metropolitan areas. It maximizes TIM investments as the infrastructure is used both for mobile and broadband services.
What opportunities do the new cloud services provide for operators?
With SME cloud services telcos have been in a tricky position due to strong competition from IT service providers, OTTs and vendors. However, cloud services and ultra-broadband bandwidth are highly related and can help telcos to be more competitive, as it enables operators to offer a complete solution to its customers in all segments through cloud aggregation.
The operators could and should play a key role in offering end-to-end cloud solutions to the business market, as SaaS services to connected companies. On the other hand, in the consumer segment, cloud gaming and cloud storage are upcoming services experiencing a burst of growth.
What impact will improved broadband and mobile speeds have on the economy?
The impacts are difficult to measure, but easy to sense. More speed leads to a large number of possibilities and potential uses, and this boosts the economy. New services based on the faster infrastructure, new applications and new systems generate more employment that in turn generates fresh demands for services. It is a cyclical movement that benefits everyone.
What is the most exciting development you expect to see in broadband over the next 12 months?
The most exciting development will be the experience of video and the development of new video services. There’s already a strong demand for online video, and OTT is becoming an attractive option for customers, so we believe that HD streaming of videos and films are just a small sample of the huge opportunity that will come from this segment. Additionally, operators have the chance to integrate bandwidth to content delivery and this advantage will then guide the creation of new products that will disrupt the market.