Swedish telecoms company Ericsson has turned to FERRERE Abogados Bolivia for an agreement with Entel that will see the state-owned telecoms provider become Bolivia’s first provider of 4G mobile phone services.

Ericsson and Entel signed the equipment and service provisioning agreements on 30 December. The deal, which is worth US$24 million, will see the Scandinavian telecoms company install 67 radio bases to allow Entel to build a new 4G LTE high speed mobile phone network.

Entel’s efforts to develop telecoms infrastructure come after Bolivia launched its first satellite in December.

Bolivia is one of the last countries in South America to have its own satellite, which will allow Entel to provide telecoms services for free in rural areas and make them more efficient and affordable in urban areas. The satellite will become operational in March.

Over the last two years a number of countries in Latin America have been making moves to develop their 4G networks. In November, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Colombia’s Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta Abogados and Harneys in the British Virgin Islands helped Colombian mobile phone operator Avantel raise US$250 million to help fund the launch of its 4G network, while in March Estudio Bergstein helped América Móvil’s mobile arm, Claro, win a licence to offer 4G services in Uruguay. In 2012, Brazil’s telecoms regulator Anatel closed its first ever auction of broadcast licences for 4G broadband spectrum, which drew successful bids from telecoms companies from Brazil, Mexico, Italy and Switzerland.

Article published in Latin Lawyer on Thursday, 6th January 2014.