According to BNAmericas, Paraguayan state-run telecoms operator Compania Paraguaya de Comunicaciones (Copaco) expects to invest USD70 million in the modernisation and expansion of its fixed line network during the remainder of 2011. Citing comments made by company president Mario Esquivel to newspaper Ultima Hora, BNAmericas indicates that Copaco expects to add around 15,000 fixed lines in the short term, and an additional 80,000 in the medium term. Copaco’s investment will also see it expand its broadband capacity with a view to supporting additional applications, such as IPTV. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in October 2010 Copaco announced that it will invest a total of USD20 million in the launch of triple-play services (comprising voice telephony, broadband and television) by late 2011. The firm also hoped to increase broadband speeds from 4Mbps to 8Mbps.
Elsewhere, Copaco expects to invest USD40 million in its mobile unit Hola (Vox), which it acquired in July 2010 in a PYG14 billion (USD3 million) deal with Japanese firm KDDI. Copaco hopes to install 450 new base stations to augment its existing infrastructure. The operator also hopes to deploy a nationwide 3G network, bringing it in line with its rivals – Tigo, Nucleo and Claro – all of whom launched 3G networks between 2007 and 2008.
In related news, Esquivel has been quoted by news agency IP Paraguay as saying that Copaco’s annual revenue tripled following the July 2010 purchase of Vox. According to Esquivel, Vox’s customer base increased from 100,000 in July 2010 to over 300,000 this month. TeleGeography notes that Esquivel was hopeful that Copaco could increase Vox’s subscriber base to 500,000 by the end-2010, and to two million customers within five years. Copaco planned to boost Vox’s subscriber base by providing free SIM cards to its 455,000 wireline customers.