Brazil’s third largest fixed line operator by subscribers, Brasil Telecom Participacoes (BrT), is upping its capital expenditure by 57% in 2008 to BRL2.2 billion (USD1.27 billion). The operator intends to increase wireless network coverage at its mobile division and forecasts subscriber growth of 30% for the unit this year. In a regulatory filing BrT said it hoped to increase its mobile base from 4.3 million to 5.6 million by the end of this year, while its fixed line customers will remain broadly unchanged at around eight million.
BrT purchased 3G mobile licences at the regulator’s auction of December 2007 and plans to spend around BRL500 million of this year’s CAPEX to pay for them. A further BRL300 million will be used to upgrade the network, it said. Meanwhile, BRL580 million is being set aside to meet quality targets and to expand fixed line services to smaller towns across the country – as per Anatel targets – says BNamericas.