Brazil’s communications minister Paulo Bernardo has said that South Korea’s SK Telecom (SKT) may be awarded a permit to operate mobile services in Brazil, as the Asian mobile carrier seeks to expand abroad. In an interview in Brasilia, the minister said that SKT hopes to launch a 4G service in the country which, if it does, would make it the sixth service provider in the country. Bernardo went on to say that Brazil may offer SKT an opportunity to ‘tap demand for faster networks in emerging markets’ and help offset slowing revenue growth in its home market. According to Irene Kim, a spokeswoman for SK Group, SKT’s parent group, the company has been exploring business opportunities in Brazil since another of its operating units, SK Networks Company, acquired a stake in MMX Mineracao & Metalicos, the mining company controlled by billionaire Eike Batista. However, she did not provide a timeframe for the company’s plans in Brazil. SKT plans to launch a 4G service based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in the South Korean capital Seoul in July before rolling it out nationwide by 2013. Separately, SKT yesterday announced an additional USD16.4 million investment in Packet One Networks (Malaysia), on top of the USD100 million spent on the venture in July 2010.