Director, access engineering, Embratel Brasil: “The impact of 4G cannot be exaggerated”

Luiz Fernando de Castro Bourdot, director access engineering at Embratel Brasil is taking part in a panel discussion on Day Two of the Broadband LATAM conference taking place on the 2nd and 3rd July at the at the Grand Hyatt, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Ahead of the show we find out more about Embratel is getting ready for the data surge ahead of the sporting events taking place in the country in the next few years.

Can Brazil meet the demand for data that the World Cup and Olympics are going to bring?

Yes, absolutely! The telecom providers in Brazil are very well positioned to provide excellent services to the athletes, press and the public in general. Those services will be available through fixed line, mobile and wifi access. Embratel has been working intensely on those and other large events such as the World Youth Day. As the official telecom provider for the Olympics, Embratel is deploying a massive backbone to provide all venues with plenty of data, voice and video capacity.

Is Brazil ready for FTTH investment or is copper still the main focus?

It is clear that today the most efficient deployments are based on hybrid networks. For the hybrids networks you can see any sort of combination of fibre and a more cost effective “last yard”. It can be twisted pair, coaxial or radio. A pure FTTH network is still restricted to very specific markets and not for mass deployments. At Embratel the investment is focused on fibre. However, in our case, we are dealing with a fibre-to-the-business network, which has its own requirements and dynamics. I believe it will take some years before FTTH takes the lead as the architecture of choice for large scale broadband networks.

The Broadband LATAM conference is taking place on 2 – 3 July 2013 at the Grand Hyatt, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Click here to download a brochure.

What are the challenges of preparing for 4G LTE in Brazil?

Given that 3G has already induced the use of a massive optical Ethernet backhaul infrastructure that will carry easily all 4G traffic, I believe the big challenge will be to build the additional sites necessary for  proper service coverage, while dealing with various restrictions, such as  environmental and local municipality legislation.

What is the most exciting development you expect to see in broadband over the next 12 months?

For sure it is the advent of 4G. Mobile broadband use is more than double that of fixed-line. The impact of breakthrough 4G technology cannot be exaggerated. I hope the conditions will be there to enable this new technology to enjoy a fast adoption rate.

Why are you keen to attend the Broadband LATAM conference?

Our industry is undergoing many technological evolutions and transformations, many of them very disruptive. It affects the way we plan and build networks and also the way we design and sell services. My expectation is to learn from the other service providers about how they dealing with such challenges.

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