• Eventual aim is to provide 43,000 Colombians with 4G.
  • Regionwide, IpT is chasing goal of bringing connectivity to 100 million people across South America.

Internet para Todos works Altiostar ties to hone in on Colombia

Internet para Todos works Altiostar ties to hone in on Colombia

Source: Ben Wicks / Unsplash

The Telefónica -backed Internet para Todos (IpT) joint venture extended its scope beyond Peru through a tie‑up to help tackle the digital divide in Colombia.

A pilot project with Telefónica Colombia and radio access network (RAN) technology provider Altiostar is providing households in the remote regions of Barbosa and Moniquirá with access to LTE.

Its aim is to eventually connect approximately 43,000 Colombians to 4G (although no timescale on future rollout was provided).

The IpT joint venture, launched in February 2018, has up until now focused primarily on Peru, where it functions as a wholesale rural wireless infrastructure operator — but has also in the past mooted an extension of services to other regional markets, with Colombia anticipated as an early target market (Telefónicawatch, #134 , #144, #145, and #147).

IpT is backed by Telefónica, Facebook, the Development Bank of Latin America, and investment bank IDB Invest, and is aimed at bringing data connectivity to 100 million people in remote parts of Latin America (Telefónicawatch, #124 and passim). In August, it said it was aiming to make its network available to 2.3 million people in Peru by the end of 2020.

Telefónica’s involvement draws on the operator’s interest in disruptive network technology, such as the high-altitude balloon-based connectivity of Alphabet’s Loon venture (which has been used by IpT in Peru) and open RAN systems developed via the Facebook-backed Telecom Infra Project (Telefónicawatch, #108, #139, and passim).

Altiostar sole enabler in Colombia — but different story elsewhere

As per this announcement, US-based Altiostar is the only enabler to have so far been flagged as providing IpT with open RAN solutions in Colombia. Altiostar was named Telefónica’s “open RAN partner of choice” in late‑2019, when the Group announced an investment in the vendor via its Telefónica Innovation Ventures arm (Telefónicawatch, #138).

But the supplier is part of a wider supporting cast when it comes to IpT’s trials elsewhere (Telefónicawatch, #141). Other solution enablers working with IpT include NTT Data consultancy everis, Mavenir, and Parallel Wireless (Telefónicawatch, #130 and passim).