Telecommunications in Brazil: A swamped mobile-phone network could choke Latin America's biggest economy
Posted in: Mobile & Wireless at 10/08/2012 14:03
After an 11-day partial ban on signing up new customers, TIM, Oi and Claro, three of Brazil's four big mobile-phone firms, are back in business. On July 23rd the telecoms regulator, Anatel, imposed the sanctions as a wake-up call about the need for better management and more investment. State by state, it punished the company most complained about: TIM, a subsidiary of Telecom Italia, in 18 states and the Federal District; Oi, which is partly owned by Portugal Telecom, in five; and Claro, which belongs to Mexico's América Móvil, in three. Vivo, a subsidiary of Spain's Telefónica that is the biggest operator, escaped by not being worst anywhere.
Shuttle diplomacy in Brasília between regulator, government and companies' bosses followed. Vivo was asked for detailed investment plans. The other three presented hastily rewritten budgets, bringing forward 4 billion reais ($2 billion) planned for future years to make a total of 20 billion reais to be spent by 2014.