LIMA, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Spanish telecommunications group Telefonica said on Monday that it was launching open-access, wholesale broadband mobile internet service in Peru aimed at expanding coverage in rural areas.
The operator, Internet para Todos Peru (IpT), will also be backed by Facebook, the private investment arm of the Inter-American Development Bank and the Development Bank of Latin America, Telefonica said.
Telefonica, the largest internet provider in Peru, said that if successful, the project's business model can be replicated across Latin America to deliver mobile broadband to millions of people who live in remote areas.
The announcement follows Mexico's launching of a wholesale national mobile network - Red Compartida - last year.
Telefonica said IpT will offer wholesale access to its broadband infrastructure that will allow any mobile operator to provide services in rural communities. Open-access technology and a revenue-sharing model will keep costs low, it added.
The company said it hopes the project will help show that business models that embrace open-access principles can deliver "reasonable financial returns."
"About 100 million people, 20 percent of the Latin American population, do not yet have widespread access to mobile broadband," Telefonica said in an emailed statement. (Reporting by Mitra Taj; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)