The actions undertaken by the Brazilian Federal Government in the area of telecommunications are proving fundamental to the staging of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 tournament which comes to an end this Sunday (30 June). The investments made in the telecommunications sector for this event, as well as for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, will leave a positive legacy for the country, emphasized the Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Communications Cezar Alvarez in a news conference held at the Open Media Centre this Friday, 28 June. The meeting with journalists was also attended by the President of Telebras Caio Bonilha and the Superintendent of Inspections for the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) Thiago Botelho.
“Sooner or later we would have to make these investments to increase expansion and provide better services. The Cup accelerated our using these resources. Each and every acquisition of equipment and extension of fiber optics, not to mention the managerial experience itself, all the professional training and monitoring of the system, represents an important acquisition for Brazil,” declared Executive Secretary Alvarez (photo).
According to the Ministry of Communications, the principal actions undertaken for the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 include the building of 4G mobile phone networks in the six host cities and more than 9,000 kilometers of fiber optics to transmit the games in high definition, besides modernizing the structures to inspect the use of the spectrum for telecommunications services.
The President of Telebras Caio Bonilha added that the World Cup has lent dynamism and vitality to the company’s projects to expand the network and offer even better services.
“The World Cup has also provided the opportunity for the image of Telebras to achieve international standards of telecommunications services,” said Bonilha.
The 4G technology services in the host cities are provided by the telephone operators, while the inspection is carried out by Anatel.
“We are inspecting and monitoring the problems of Internet connections reported by the football supporters, but we still do not have a final position on the matter. Momentary problems always occur when many people use these services in a small area like the stadiums. A more consolidated picture will give us the parameters to determine whether or not the operators should be penalized,” explained Thiago Botelho.
The matches played during the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 are all transmitted by fiber-optic networks built and operated by Telebras. To perform this task, the company uses redundant infrastructures (that is to say, with at least two independent networks and covering different routes) to link up the stadiums in the six cities hosting the games. Each link provided by Telebras has a capacity of 10 Gbps, uses equipment developed in the country with DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) technology and enables different programs to be transmitted simultaneously in high definition (HDTV).
The Telebras network can be divided in two parts. The first is the long-distance network that connects the various capital cities and is already used by the operator company for the actions of the National Broadband Plan (PNBL). At present, this network already covers over 25,000 kilometers, 9,030 of which make up the ring that joins together the six host cities of the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013. Since the investments in the national network were already projected in the PNBL, there was no need for the Brazilian Federal Government to make any additional investment.
The second part refers to the networks inside the cities or metropolitan networks. The metropolitan networks connect the Telebras national network to the stadiums and other points of interest related to the Confederations Cup and World Cup tournaments. Although these networks were already part of the initial PNBL project, they had their projects expanded and their capacity raised to meet the requirements of the two Cups. The Brazilian Federal Government foresees investments of up to R$ 200 million in these metropolitan networks, which will continue after the World Cup is over to belong to Telebras, and will allow the PNBL actions to grow in the principal metropolitan regions of the country. At the moment, the investments made by Telebras in the metropolitan networks total R$ 60.16 million.
In addition to the Telebras investment in networks that will continue on as a legacy of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Ministry of Communications has signed contracts with the State company to the total amount of R$ 33.34 million to ensure that during the period of the World Cup the services provided will meet the quality demanded by FIFA. These contracts will cover the costs, among others, of contracting redundant links, maintaining operations centers and around-the-clock teams, as well as spare parts available in strategic locations.
The quality of the network provided and operated by Telebras is far superior to that offered today in the general Brazilian market. The technical requirements laid down by FIFA, for example, include 99.99 percent availability of the network, which means that transmissions can only afford any type of failure during a mere 0.01 percent of transmission time.
Transmission of the games will use the Telebras National Network, the same network that provides support to the National Broadband Plan, which already extends over more than 25,000 kilometers.