TIM Brasil board gives thumbs up to network sharing plan with Oi SA
BNAmericas reports that the board of Brazilian telecoms group TIM Participacoes (TIM Brasil) has approved an infrastructure sharing deal with fellow operator Oi SA, which was formed through the restructuring of Telemar Participacoes’ former operating divisions Brasil Telecom, Tele Norte Leste Participacoes, Coari Participacoes and Telemar Norte Leste. The online journal says that unlike Telefonica (Vivo), which is also looking to share frequency spectrum, the proposed Tim Brasil-Oi SA tie-up – dubbed the Ran Sharing LTE Project – is limited to the physical sharing of towers and network equipment for the provision of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in the 2.5GHz band. According to the minutes of the board meeting, made public by TIM Brasil, the Ran Sharing LTE Project will include specific terms and conditions to ensure that each mobile operator can complete ‘isolated investments’ under the plan. TIM Brasil paid BRL340 million (USD172 million) for its blocks of LTE spectrum, while Oi SA paid BRL330 million. However, the pair have less coverage capacity than either Telefonica (Vivo) or Telecom Americas (Claro) which each won national blocks. TIM Brasil has selected Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) as its equipment suppliers, while Oi has partnered with Ericsson, NSN and Alcatel-Lucent.