This page:Information about Unicel, cellular operator in the metropolitan region of São Paulo.


Unicel is the E Band cellphone operator in the metropolitan region of São Paulo (011). It acquired the license, with the only company to make an offer, in Anatel's licitation started in 2005.


It was declassified by not having deposited the guarantees. It appealed to Justice and in 04/12/2207 was homologated as winner by Anatel's council. The Act # 65.595, from June 21st 2007, which forwarded the authorization was published on 06/25/2007, Diário Oficial da União. The authorization term was published in the DOU in 07/20/07.


Unicel acquired also a extension of 2.5 MHz in 900 Mhz.


Unicel belongs to Melo da Silva family and has José Roberto Melo da Silva as president and CEO.


The company faced difficulties to attract investments. However, in May/08 it closed a deal with the Arabian group Hits, which got 49% of the shares, with an option to buy 75% in three years. The operation was approved by Anatel in September/2008.


The Hits Group operates in Saudi Arabia and in Africa. In may/08 the Hits Group signed a MOU with ZTE and became a strategic partner to develop operations in Africa and Latin America.


In August 2008 Unicel started a period of commercial test of its operation and adopted the name "aeiou".


The commercial launch will happen in 09/08/2008. In the tests phase, aeiou classified 10,000 chips.


In 2012, Nextel requested Anatel's authorization to acquire Unicel.


Anatel has given signs that won't authorize the sale of Unicel to Nextel.


Anatel published, on 01/21/2013, the extinction of the authorization to Unicel to provide cellular service (SMP), granted in 2007.






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Unicel's (aeiou) entrance in operation

Unicel (aeiou) announced, in August/08, its entrance in operation in the metropolitan region of São Paulo (Capital, Osasco, Guarulhos, Santo André, São Bernardo, São Caetano e Diadema).


The operator, which plans to conquer 500 thousands clients in one year, has a strategy based on chips selling for pre-paid sector and on the offer of cheaper minute prices and SMS.


The company adopted the name "aeiou" and will charge US$ 0,16 per minute for local calls to fixed telephones and US$ 0,36 to the operator's cellulars. This might be the major price difference in relation to the other companies. On the other hand, Unicel will be in disadvantage in the operators' net calls, despite of the charging US$ 0,08 per minute, because it's base is smaller the others'.


Unicel presents an entrance strategy close to MVNO and may have its performance towards market sectors, getting clients with low acquisition cost.


However, unlike MVNOs, Unicel had to build its own net and will have to keep a level of service, mainly coverage, similar to what is offered by other operators. Unicel announced that is entering in operation holding 230 sites and the major of them are outsourced. It's not clear yet if it will be enough to assure a homogeneous coverage in the region. In the beginning, the investment reached US$ 145 million.


Despite the Hits partnership with ZTE, the net is provided by Huawei.


In any case, aeiou doesn't face directly other operators (Vivo, Claro and Tim), not even through Oi wich might start operating in October.




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