Brazilian cellcos request government help as credit crunch bites

20 Nov 2008

A number of mobile network operators in Brazil have submitted a request to the government asking it to defer certain tax payments and fees for recently acquired 3G operating licences, citing the reduced availability of credit and the adverse impact on their investment programmes as the reason. Reuters quotes Vivo Participacoes CEO Roberto Oliveira de Lima as saying that all sectors of the domestic economy will feel the impact of tighter credit markets in 2009, which may produce a spike in unemployment rates and lower consumer income. Lima is looking to the Federal government to help the telecoms market saying: ‘The same way the government is helping other sectors in Brazil, it should also give our sector some stability to plan ahead.’ He went on to add: ‘That decision has to be made now so our investment can actually happen six months ahead. We cannot allow a circumstantial situation to force us to take a bad decision, which would be halting investments.’

The other six companies petitioning the government through Acel, the industry’s cellular association, are: Brasil Telecom, Claro, CTBC, Oi, Sercomtel, and TIM Brasil.