Brazil not mobile ready for World Cup

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Brazil, host of the World Cup this year, is not ready to handle the mobile traffic that will be generated by all of the fans crowding into the various stadiums around the country, warns Infonetics Research.

In fact, Brazil had only 60,000 base receiving stations in place last year, about as many as AT&T alone has in the United States, notes Stéphane Téral, Infonetics' principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics. In addition, average mobile data speeds are slow, only around 1.4 Mbps.

To handle the expected surge in mobile traffic, Brazil has installed distributed antenna systems in some stadiums, "but there are way too few base transceiver stations in surrounding neighborhoods, such as those around the Maracanã stadium in Rio, to handle the mobile traffic of the impending crowds. And currently there are only 24 base transceiver stations in Jacarepaguá, where most of the Olympics will be hosted in 2016. Brazil has some work to do," says Téral.

To address a possible mobile broadband shortage, Brazil auctioned 4G spectrum in the 2.5 GHz and 450 MHz bands in 2012. "The extra wireless frequencies were trumpeted by [Brazil's telecom regulator] Anatel at the time as a way for operators to roll out high-speed broadband to cities playing host" to the World Cup, explains Mobile World Live.

Mobile broadband coverage is not the only problem facing Brazil as it prepares to host the World Cup in June and July of this year. The country is behind on stadium construction, transportation infrastructure and security issues exacerbated by anti-government protests, The Guardian reports.

For more:
- check out Infonetics release
- read the Mobile World Live report
- see The Guardian article

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