iVOCS and Baicells are Committed to Bringing Internet, Telephone and Television Connectivity to the Unconnected in Brazil
Global access to wireless networks is becoming more and more important. A Brazilian game changer, iVOCS teamed up with Baicells Technologies to provide fixed outdoor wireless access solutions to residents who have limited/no access to internet. iVOCS, an ISP founded in 2002 with main offices in Cachoeira do Sul city in Rio Grande do Sul state in Brazil, chose Baicells’ 4G and 5G products, which are presently empowering ISPs around the globe. According to recent research published by the Statista Research Department, 32% of the Brazilian population had no internet access at the end of 2019.
iVOCS aims to deliver fixed outdoor wireless access solutions for homes and businesses, with a focus on providing connectivity to Brazilian unconnected communities. Many unconnected residents live in suburban areas and are unable to be provided telecom service due to obstacles and foliage causing NLOS conditions. Wi-Fi proprietary solutions do not perform well in NLOS conditions, thus are not the proper technology choice in these suburban areas. Also, low population density does not justify the cost to provide fiber connections. Additionally, an even larger proportion of residents in rural areas experience insufficient internet coverage. They either completely lack connectivity or only have access to 900 MHz or 2.4 Ghz connections providing low capacity services below 2 Mbps.
To help remedy the situation, Baicells is delivering a comprehensive LTE system to iVOCS, who in turn is able to provide voice and data today, and possibly IP-TV services in the near future, to their customers with connection speeds above 10 Mbps.
Since October 2018, iVOCS has implemented Baicells LTE products to provide data and voice services to their consumer base. The primary advantages of LTE over iVOCS legacy Wi-Fi proprietary solution are:
- Using the stable connection from Baicells products, iVOCS has reduced on-site technical servicing by 90%. By reducing primarily negative claim calls by 90%, iVOCS sees service cost reductions and improvement of their market image.
- iVOCS has increased installations by 20%. Now, customers who previously did not have the opportunity to receive an internet connection due NLOS conditions can now take advantage of iVOCS LTE services.
- iVOCS ARPU has grown nearly 25% by having the capacity to sell better plans to their customers. Baicells LTE solution can now provide a 10 Mbps service to customers.
Before settling on Baicells, iVOCS spent 2 years conducted several trials with different LTE vendors. iVOCs chose the Outdoor CPE business model because the additional gain gives an expanded range to their towers, which now have a coverage radius of around 10-15 km. It was clear to iVOCS, other ISPs attempting to deploy Indoor CPE or MiFi models would be nowhere near as effective, because their coverage radius would be limited to a range of 300 to 1000 meters. “We understood that this equipment is for connecting people. Our business is connecting houses and companies, which is a totally different business,” stated iVOCS Director Mauricio Schuck.
He went on to articulate that “In Brazil, houses and businesses are primarily located in urban areas traditionally connected by fiber. Our focus is first to connect the unconnected and secondly to provide a high-quality connection to customers who are in suburban and rural areas. We have a clear definition about our strategy. It is to connect houses and businesses that usually have no access to fixed outdoor equipment, instead of MiFi or indoor CPE. Definitively, we have seen many operators who decided on this business model and failed consistently in Brazil within the last 2-3 years.”
When asked about cost, Mr. Schuck was very clear: “We never look at the cost of the CPE, we look for the connection cost by user. The cost by user of fiber in a 3 km radius is the same as the cost of one LTE tower which covers a 10-15 km radius, representing a coverage area of around 700 km. Ultimately, medium-to-low density areas are our business and not high density areas where, without a doubt the cost by user is much lower. On the other hand, we understand that anyone can implement a fiber optic network and only we have the licensed LTE Band 38 (2.5 GHz) in Brazil, which has been a privilege of ours for 30 years.”
iVOCS won a Public Bid in 2015 for the 2.5 Ghz spectrum in 8 Municipalities located in Rio Grande do Sul state. Ricardo Pence, VP of Sales for Iberoamerica from Baicells Technologies said, “Definitively iVOCS is the pioneer in Brazil. By deploying a real and profitable Fixed LTE network, they have demonstrated how important it is for their customers to be provided with a very stable and high level internet service, similar to the quality and high speed service which exists in the first world. We at Baicells are very proud to have iVOCS as one of our key customers”.
As more service providers like iVOCS look to expand their coverage, Baicells LTE solutions will undoubtedly offer affordable and reliable services, vital for bringing connectivity to those without it, around the world.