Claro starts exchanging cable for optical fiber on the fixed internet in São Paulo | Telecommunications

Claro is the largest broadband operator in Brazil largely due to the coaxial cable network (HFC), which is still responsible for the majority of the company’s fixed internet accesses. The operator has been adopting optical fiber in new municipalities – but now it signals that it intends to expand the technology offer with the replacement of the cable by FTTH also in regions of São Paulo.

Claro store in São Paulo (Image: Felipe Ventura / Tecnoblog)

Claro started internet sales by fiber in São Paulo (Image: Felipe Ventura / Tecnoblog)

The information was revealed by reader David Diniz. He explained to the Tecnoblog who called Claro’s customer service in order to complain about the speed of their broadband via cable. During the call, the attendant offered the migration of HFC technology to fiber optics at his home, located in the region of Av. Paulista.

Diniz thought it was a mess for the attendant, since Claro usually announces “internet with fiber” when the last mile is delivered through coaxial cables. That was not the case, and a technician actually went to his home to install the broadband with FTTH technology.

Claro's internal optical distributor (Image: David Diniz / Personal archive)

Claro’s internal optical distributor (Image: David Diniz / Personal archive)

Claro's internal optical distributor (Image: David Diniz / Personal archive)

Claro’s internal optical distributor (Image: David Diniz / Personal archive)

Claro's optical fiber was installed together with coaxial cable (Image: David Diniz / Personal archive)

Claro’s optical fiber was installed together with coaxial cable (Image: David Diniz / Personal archive)

One of the advantages reported by the reader is the increase in performance: it has a plan of 240 Mb / s, and in the coaxial cable the upload speed was only 20 Mb / s. With the move to Claro Fibra, the upload jumped to 120 Mb / s. The modem used was the Humax HP610.

Claro Fibra speed test in São Paulo (Image: David Diniz / Personal archive)

Claro Fibra speed test in São Paulo (Image: David Diniz / Personal archive)

The company’s technician told Diniz that he is a pilot, who contemplates some regions of the São Paulo capital. Unlike cities served only with optical fiber, the regions of São Paulo with Claro Fibra do not have cable TV via IPTV; the service continues to be delivered over coaxial cable.

The reader also reports that Claro made an adjustment to the building between December 2020 and January 2021. At the time, the operator installed optical cables and an internal box for fiber distribution.

Humax modem used by Claro Fibra (Image: David Diniz / Personal collection)

Humax HP610 Modem used by Claro Fibra (Image: David Diniz / Personal Collection)

THE Tecnoblog sought out Claro to clarify whether it intends to replace the coaxial cable network with optical fiber; what is the FTTH coverage in São Paulo; what is the forecast for technology expansion; which cities will receive the upgrade; and why pay TV was not migrated to IPTV mode. The company did not return the contact until the publication of the article.

Claro already offers broadband by fiber in the online store

It is already possible to hire broadband by fiber in São Paulo: the Tecnoblog consulted addresses close to the reader’s residence and found the broadband offer.

Claro Fibra contracting in São Paulo is available on the operator's website (Image: Reproduction)

Claro Fibra contracting in São Paulo is available on the operator’s website (Image: Reproduction)

We will not reveal the exact address where Claro Fibra was found to preserve the reader’s location. Availability seems to be very limited, since it is not possible (at the moment) to contract the service on nearby streets.

Of course surrendered to fiber?

According to Anatel, Claro had 9.84 million broadband connections in January 2021. Of this total, 9.3 million use coaxial cable technology, while only 522.4 thousand accesses are connected by optical fiber. It is necessary to consider that Embratel’s corporate contracts also enter this account, which further reduces the presence participation with the FTTH standard.

In 2019, Claro’s marketing director, Marcio Carvalho, told the Telesynthesis that the investment in fiber was worthwhile for the construction of new networks where the company did not have a presence, and in the other markets, HFC technology supplied the demand.

On the same occasion, Carvalho also said that “naturally HFC customers will switch to pure fiber at some point”, and that, until then, the operator would use the DOCSIS 3.1 standard, which leaves the cable on an equal footing with FTTH.

Comparing only speeds, DOCSIS 3.1 can really compete with FTTH networks, but only in download. There are operators in the United States that offer plans with a speed of 1 Gb / s over coaxial cable, but with very low upload.

In its most expensive broadband for residential users, with 500 Mb / s speed, Claro offers a measly 35 Mb / s upload on the coaxial cable, while the same plan of Claro Fibra has a sending rate of 250 Mb / s. The low upload leaves Claro at a disadvantage compared to Vivo Fibra, Oi Fibra, TIM Live and several regional providers

Optical fiber, through the xPON standard, has the advantage of allowing a 100% passive network, which does not depend on intermediate elements in the network such as power supplies or signal amplifiers. The traffic capacity can also be greater, which allows it to house more users with less chance of traffic congestion, in addition to the technology not being susceptible to electromagnetic interference.

I hope that the moment of abandoning the cable in favor of the optical fiber is near.

NET already had broadband by optical fiber in São Paulo

It is not the first time that Grupo Claro operates with fiber optics for fixed internet in São Paulo. In 2014, NET launched the broadband NET Virtua at a speed of 500 Mb / s with FTTH technology.

The plan was restricted, mainly due to the amounts charged: the monthly internet fee was R $ 1,499.90; in the combo, the value dropped to R $ 799.90 per month. The most curious part of NET’s old 500 Mb / s plan is that the service included another 30 Mb / s broadband delivered over coaxial cable.

Currently, Claro sells 500 Mb / s residential broadband via coaxial cable in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The monthly price is R $ 449.99, and the plan has an upload speed of only 35 Mb / s.

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