Telecom Italia to invest R$14bn in Brazil

The investment is part of a plan to boost fixed and mobile networks in the country over the next three years

A TIM store in Brazil. Telecom Italia is TIM's controlling shareholder. Image: Angelica Mari

Telecom Italia has announced that it will invest R$14bn ($4.8bn) in Brazil as part of a three-year plan to substantially boost its local fixed and mobile networks.

The investment made by the Italian telecom giant into its local subsidiary TIM Brazil will enable it extend 4G coverage in the country from 3,700 to over 15,000 sites and 3G coverage from 10,400 to over 14,000 sites by 2017.

According to the company, The Mobile Broadband (MBB) project - which allows higher Internet access speeds through fiber optic network , as well as improved radio infrastructure and boosted core functionality - will be available to 1.137 cities.

Read this

Can't get 4G yet? Meet the country where 300Mbps LTE-A will soon be the new normal

All three of the main operators in Estonia are planning to rollout the higher speed variant of 4G before the end of year, making it one of the most advanced countries in the world when it comes to LTE-A.

Read More

Other core areas of investment will include small cells and Wi-fi hotspots. TIM Brazil also wants to focus on the expansion of Live TIM, its fixed broadband service, by trebling the investment in that part of the business in order to go from 130,000 customers to 500,000 subscribers by the end of 2017.

The company's Brazil head Rodrigo Abreu told journalists at a press event on Friday (20) that SMS and voice revenues continue to fall and that the real opportunity is in data services: the company predicts that such services will account for more than 50 percent of revenue in the short-term.

In addition, the company also intends to focus on retaining its market leadership in the prepaid segment, through partnerships whereby users can get unlimited access to services such as Deezer and WhatsApp.

TIM is currently Brazil's second-largest mobile network operator behind Telefonica Brasil's Vivo.