Brazil pushes LTE tech forward at 450MHz: Aricent powers trial eNodeB

With Brazil's authorities mandating rural LTE coverage at 450MHz, development of technical solutions supporting that band has received a boost.

One of the companies developing technology for assessment is Aricent, who announced today that CPqD, an R&D institution in Brazil developing an LTE system at 450MHz, is starting field trials of an LTE eNodeB powered by Aricent’s eNodeB software framework.

Aricent said that CPqD is conducting the field trial for one of the largest operators in Brazil. Operators in Brazil were not too keen on 450MHz spectrum in last summers auction, leading the Brazilian regulator to invoke a rule that operators that secured 26GHz spectrum must also roll out LTE at 450MHz for rural areas.

The Brazilian regulatory rules defined that by December 31, 2015, all rural areas up to 30 km from the headquarters of all Brazilian municipalities must have LTE coverage in the 450 MHz band with voice and data services.

Claro, for example, will have to deploy 450MHz band services in rural areas of all states in the north region, plus in rural parts of Bahia and Maranhao states, as well as in greater Sao Paulo. TIM Brasil must cover rural parts of Parana, Santa Catarina, Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Sant while Oi has regional licences in Rio Grande do Sul, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Goias and the Federal District.

CPqD launched its LTe test lab in March 2013, including its first LTE wireless solution developed for the frequency comprising of antennas, RF devices, a compact base station, LTE terminals with interfaces for Wi-Fi networks, and a network management system.

CPqD said transmission speeds for the 450MHz LTE solution have reached 25Mbps for download and 12.5Mbps for upload.

The Aricent-CPqD LTE eNodeB solution comprises layer 2 and layer 3 eNodeB software from Aricent.

“Field trials are one of the most critical phases in a product lifecycle to determine the viability and usability of the solution,” said Pratyush Dasgupta vice president and head of wireless practice, at Aricent. “We are committed to providing all the support necessary to ensure that the LTE solution performs exceptionally well when deployed commercially.”

“LTE has a tremendous growth potential in Brazil and is the most important focus area for CPqD” said Fabricio Lira Figueiredo, from CPqD. “We are delighted in continuing our partnership with Aricent in this space to ensure that we provide the best possible solution to our customers.”

CPqD’s industrial partner is WxBR, to whom it is transferring its technolgy.

“LTE is the most advanced broadband wireless technology and we are the pioneer in providing a complete LTE solution for 450 MHz band.” said Samuel Lauretti, president of WxBR.

Other ecosystem players providing LTe450MHz support includAltair SemiConductor, which announced chipsets to support the band in November 2012.