Mobile Innovation, Caipirinhas & Riot Police: All in a Day at Futurecom 2013
The iBwave CALA team was enthusiastic for another Futurecom, after experiencing a highly successful show last year. What was less expected was the security threat level in Rio as our team arrived on the very same day that Brazil was auctioning the exploration rights for the Libra oil field. What more? We were staying at the same hotel as the government officials conducting Libra’s oil exploration auction, implying we had to sneak in through the back door of the hotel to avoid riot squads. Our brave CALA Sales Manager, Espy Hughes-Johnson, still managed to sneak in a photo with the riot squad later in the day though.
Once at the conference, we were not disappointed. With the Brazilian telecom market growing so fast due to the upcoming World Cup and Olympics and with Futurecom attracting over 12,000 people from 48 countries, 340 exhibitors and 333 speakers, there was so much interesting information going around.
- Brazil is the 5th largest mobile market in the world, with 262 million mobile subscribers
- Brazil represents 42% of the total Latin American subscribers and 52% of subscribers in South America
- Mobile density is 133% (there are 133 mobile connections per 100 people)
- Mobile investment represents $5 billion USD in 2012 alone
The mobile market is dominated by the following operators:
- Telefonica | VIVO (28.7% market share)
- TIM (27.2% market share)
- Claro (25% market share)
- Oi (18.7% market share) – recently acquired by Portugal Telecom
And the buzz around indoor wireless had a big presence too. There was a lot of talk around small cells in the Brazilian market and the challenges surrounding them. First of all, only 20% of the country is fiber ready so the cost of backhaul implementation is creating a challenge for small cell deployments. Municipal authorization for operators to deploy small cells is another hurdle since the administrative process can be very lengthy and create delays on the deployments. But despite the challenges, one speaker stated that the only way to satisfy the indoor bandwidth demand in Brazil is by implementing HetNet solutions.
A final recurring theme throughout presentations and trade show discussions is the fact that many of the World Cup 2014 stadiums are not yet finished, delaying the indoor network design and planning process. This is creating much worry for operators who want to ensure a good wireless experience for the World Cup fans.
All of this buzz meant a busy trade show for everyone, including the iBwave team. Top left: Juan Felipe Gonzalez, iBwave’s VP Global Sales with the Canadian Delegation in Brazil – smiling after a dramatic start to the show! Below left: the Canada Pavilion. To the right: Juan and Milton Malva, our Brazilian Sales Engineer for CALA next to the iBwave banner in the Canada Pavilion.
On Wednesday, we co-hosted a cocktail at the Grauer Solutions booth with CommScope, Aniteand Grauer Solutions. The event was a resounding success with 80 attendees, caipirinhas abound and one lucky guest, Ralf Souza from Spectrum Solutions, who went home with an iPad. Thanks to all who attended!
Looking forward to Futurecom 2014!
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