Brazil’s third largest fixed line operator Brasil Telecom Participacoes says it is cutting its workforce by 12% or 800 employees, as part of a cost-cutting initiative put in place by the new management team that was installed in September 2005. The telco, whose shareholders include Citigroup, Telecom Italia and a group of Brazilian state-run pension funds, is looking to revamp its business and is preparing to take a BRL622 million (USD277.8 million) hit in its Q4 earnings to cover labour costs and pension obligations. It is expected to report its fourth quarter earnings on 30 March.
In a related story, Brasil Telecom has said it is upgrading its broadband service to handle multimedia offerings in three regions of the country. The company has contracted Lucent Technologies to roll out its MiLife platform so Brasil Telecom can launch voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) telephony and other broadband services in the regions of Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Curitiba. The Brazilian operator has a base of around eleven million landline subscribers and hopes to migrate many of these as it looks to become one of the largest broadband providers in Latin America.