RIO DE JANEIRO May 10 Brazil's antitrust
watchdog approved on Friday a wireless network sharing
partnership between America Movil's Claro and
Telefonica's Vivo, a deal that will help both carriers
save costs while building their next-generation networks.
Brazil's Cade said the companies' plans to share part of
their backhaul network and transmission sites do not affect
consumers, since other operations and commercial activities will
remain separate, according to the regulator's report.
Telefonica Brasil SA, the Spanish group's local
unit, is Brazil's biggest mobile carrier, while Claro ranks
third in terms of subscribers.
The country's phone companies face a challenging investment
scenario for the next few years, as they need to improve their
third-generation (3G) networks while building out new 4G
infrastructure ahead of the 2014 World Cup.
Telecom Italia's TIM Participaçoes SA
and rival Oi SA started their 4G network partnership
in late April, aiming at reducing construction costs. All four
companies have already begun offering 4G services in Brazil.