State announces CANTV expansion plan

1 May 2007

The Venezuelan government has announced a plan to expand CANTV’s fixed line network coverage by 15% over the next 18 months, writes BNamericas quoting local newspaper El Universal. According to the paper, President Hugo Chávez said the state aims to add around 1.2 million fixed lines and increase coverage of the residential sector to 60%, up from the current 45%, and boost its GSM subsidiary Movilnet’s total subscribers to 9.8 million, up from 7.9 million users at end-2006. ‘We will pay attention to fixed, mobile and satellite telephony in all cities with more than 500 inhabitants,’ President Chávez said, adding that CANTV’s current coverage is ‘very limited and unfairly distributed.’ The government is expected to take majority control of the telco through a share offer on the Caracas and New York stock exchanges launched on 9 April and scheduled to finish by June. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, CANTV had 3.45 million fixed lines in service at the end of 2006; Venezuela had a fixed line teledensity of 13.7% at that date.

Venezuela, CANTV