BrT confirms plan to build GSM network

Brasil Telecom plans to invest in buildout of a GSM wireless telephone network in its coverage area by the end of this year, CEO Carla Cico told analysts in a conference call Wednesday, August 6. BrT is the incumbent local exchange carrier for nine states in the South, North and Center-West, as well as the Federal District.
Infrastructure suppliers have already been chosen and will be announced in the next few days, she said. BrT plans to invest up to 300 million US Dollars in the new network over a two-year period. It expects to sign up around 1m customers in the first 12 months of wireless operations.
This capex figure covers only the cost of network buildout (equipment, construction, IT etc.), she explained. Customer acquisition is projected to cost about 160 Brazilian Reals per subscriber (now just over 50 USD). Synergies with BrT?s existing wireline operations will help achieve the ambitious target of 1m customers in a year, she said.

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Carla Cico also repeated earlier denials of any plan to enter into a consortium with Telemig Celular and Amazônia Celular. This had been suggested at one time by Opportunity, which controls BrT and the two mobile carriers. They joined forces only to pursue lower prices in negotiations with equipment vendors, she said. Contracts are drawn up and signed separately.

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