Telecom Italia’s Brazilian subsidiary TIM Brasil has reported a 19.4% year-on-year increase in fourth-quarter revenues to BRL4.7 billion (USD2.7 billion), although net profit fell to BRL405 million in October-December 2011 from BRL1.9 billion a year earlier ago due to a one-off tax benefit. However, for full-year 2011, TIM’s net profit rose by 66% to BRL1.3 billion, on annual revenues which climbed 18% to BRL17.1 billion. Having added a net 4.9 million customers in the three months ended 31 December 2011, including 655,000 post-paid users, TIM finished the period with a total of 64.1 million customers, of which 9.3 million were on monthly contracts. EBITDA increased by 8.7% year-on-year to BRL1.3 billion in Q4 2011, a figure which was inhibited by customer acquisition costs rising due to the high rate of net user additions in the quarter. TIM added that smartphones represented 70% of gross handset sales in 4Q11, ending the year with 26.6% of its customers owning smartphones.
This week, TIM’s president, Luca Luciani, warned that Brazil’s telecoms authorities must auction 700MHz band spectrum for mobile operators if high speed broadband services such as 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) are to be offered to the entire nation, instead of concentrating on upcoming 2.5GHz frequency auctions. Luciani went as far to state that TIM was considering ignoring the government’s planned 2.5GHz and 450MHz spectrum sales in May if a plan to distribute 700MHz licences is not forthcoming.