Winity Telecom, a wireless infrastructure company, which is backed by Patria Investments, a private equity firm in Latin America, announced that it has signed an exclusive national agreement with Ipiranga, a Brazilian fuel distributor, for the right to build wireless sites at all of Ipiranga’s 7.1k gas and service stations throughout Brazil.
Patria’s Winity Telecom will install antennas to provide cellular coverage at Ipiranga’s gas and service stations, which are located along highways and in large urban centers of Brazil. In turn, the partnership will enable 4G and 5G technology to be deployed across the country in an efficient manner, given Ipiranga’s extensive portfolio of real estate.
Winity Telecom – Growing Through Partnership with Ipiranga
Patria Investments formed São Paulo-based Winity Telecom in 2020, as a company that develops, builds, and operates wireless infrastructure including macro sites, rooftop sites, small cells, distributed antenna systems (DAS), and private networks.
Presently, Winity’s infrastructure is supporting wireless carriers in the densification of their 4G networks, as well as the launch of 5G services in Brazil, following the conclusion of Brazil’s 5G spectrum auction in November 2021.
Winity operates as a neutral host, providing infrastructure access and use services to multiple wireless carriers and network operators. Additionally, the company owns wireless spectrum in the 700 MHz band and leases these frequencies, on a wholesale basis, to third parties.
In November 2021, Winity Telecom secured a national 700 MHz spectrum license in Brazil at a cost of R$1.42bn ($255m USD). To-date, low-band 700 MHz frequencies are in use primarily for providing 4G services in Brazil.
As part of winning blocks in the 700 MHz spectrum auction, Winity has particular coverage obligations for the country. Specifically, by 2029, Winity must cover more than 21.7k miles (35.0k kilometers) of highways and 625 locations in Brazil, with at least 4G technology (i.e., 5G coverage is acceptable too).
To this end, by 2029, Winity expects to deploy 5.0k wireless sites in Brazil, bringing 4G coverage to areas that are currently without connectivity.
Winity Telecom is led by Sergio Bekeierman as CEO. Previously, Bekeierman was CFO and Head of Finance at Highline do Brasil and a Vice President at Patria Investments. Additionally, Bekeierman is/has been on the board of directors for a number of Patria-backed companies including ODATA, ATIS Group, Vogel Telecom, and Highline do Brasil.
Patria Investments – Overview
As of December 31, 2021, Patria Investments had $23.8bn in assets under management (AUM) overall, across strategies including private equity, infrastructure, credit, public equities, and real estate.
Within digital infrastructure, Patria Investments has invested in the sub-sectors of towers, data centers, and fiber. For example, the firm’s existing and past investments include:
- ODATA: 90%-owned by Patria and 10%-owned by CyrusOne, ODATA operates or is constructing data centers in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico
- ATIS Group: known as Argentina Telecom Infrastructure Solutions. Particularly, the company provides outdoor and indoor coverage through towers and distributed antenna systems (DAS) in Argentina
- Highline do Brasil: independent tower company in Brazil which Patria sold to Digital Colony Partners I (now DigitalBridge) in December 2019
- Vogel Telecom: regional B2B fiber provider in Brazil which Patria sold to Algar Telecom in August 2021