Brazilian Post launches MVNO

The service launches with a prepaid plan and zero-rated WhatsApp access

Brazilian postal service Correios has launched its own mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) services with plans to reach a user base of eight million users nationwide within five years.

The Correios Celular service had been in the making for years and is an attempt to diversify revenue sources: the Brazilian postal service has been suffering with annual losses surpassing R$2bn ($636m) over the last couple of years.

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The service operates under a partnership with Surf Telecom, a local firm that utilizes the network provided by Telecom Italia's mobile operator TIM.

Initially, the only product on offer will be a single prepaid package that offers 100 minutes plus 1GB 3G/4G of data valid of 30 days costing R$30 ($9,50).

The service features zero-rated WhatsApp access. In addition, access to some government websites is also offered free outside the initial data allowance.

Some 12 branches of the postal service in the city of São Paulo will be offering the product in the launch phase. This will be followed by Belo Horizonte and Brazil's capital Brasília.

By the end of 2017, Correios plans to extend the mobile product to some 3,600 cities across the country and at least 500,000 customers generating about R$14m ($4.5m) in revenue.