Vivo, the Portugal Telecom/Telefonica Moviles joint venture, has announced the worldwide launch of Samsung?s dual mode CDMA 1xRTT/GSM GPRS handset in Brazil in the fourth quarter of this year, enabling subscribers to roam in the following states that aren?t part of its footprint: Minas Gerais, Alagoas, Ceará, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí, and Rio Grande do Norte. Francisco Padinha, CEO of Vivo, says these states are important for any national operation but it?s perfectly possible to do business in the Northeast or elsewhere by taking advantage of technological progress. In other words, coverage of the states in question doesn?t necessarily require new acquisitions.
The following wireless carriers operate in Minas Gerais: Telemar-Oi (GSM), TIM (TDMA, with a GSM overlay building out now), and Telemig Celular (TDMA, probably to be overlaid with GSM in future). The Northeastern states are covered by Telemar-Oi (GSM), TIM Nordeste, and BSE, recently acquired by Telecom Americas (TIM and BSE are currently overlaying their TDMA networks with GSM).
According to Gilson Rondinelli, Vivo?s vice president of marketing, the Samsung handset will meet global demand from such carriers as Vodafone, Verizon and China Unicom, which also operate CDMA. Francisco Padinha said Vivo will overlay CDMA on the TDMA networks of Telefônica Celular RS (CRT) and TCO/NBT early in the second half. It?s currently collecting price proposals from suppliers.
Vivo isn?t aiming to acquire Vesper to guarantee roaming in Region 1 (which includes Minas Gerais and the Northeastern states already mentioned), but it?s open to proposals provided they?re ?interesting?, Francisco Padinha said.
With regard to Anatel?s refusal of Vesper?s request to provide full mobility service in the 1900 MHz band, Mr Padinha merely said the law allows only secondary use of that band and Anatel has done no more than enforce the law.