Brazil’s third largest telco Brasil Telecom (BrT) is planning to roll out new products and services to offset declining revenues from its long-distance business, the company’s product director Eugenio Pimienta told BNamericas in an interview. The telco will launch several new products in May and June, with the aim of clawing back business from the country’s mobile operators. The new services will include a cordless fixed line phone which will accept a SIM card. ‘This encourages users who make calls at home from their mobile phones, to switch to their cordless fixed line phone,’ said Pimienta. The operator also plans to introduce a hybrid limited mobility wireless handset that will allow the user to charge calls as fixed line rates within a certain distance from their home.
BrT’s domestic long-distance revenues are dropping at a rate of 1% per month, as a result of mobile substitution, migration to IP telephony and a change in user patterns – particularly among the young which now favour SMS as a means to stay in touch. The situation is forcing the company to attempt to plug the gap through higher broadband sales, increased international traffic and fixed-mobile convergence. It has also reduced tariffs for inter-urban calls for 13 Brazilian cities, to try to shore up its domestic long-distance market share. By the end of 2006 BrT expects to have a fixed line subscriber base of around ten million users, as well as 1.5 million broadband accounts and three million mobile customers.