Nextel Brasil sets end-2013 deadline for 3G upgrade plan

7 May 2013

Online news journal Exame Abril quotes NII Holdings’ chief executive Steve Schindler as saying that the group’s Brazilian unit, Nextel Brasil, is finding its way back to growth, and that whilst the implementation phase of its 3G network has not yet been completed, it hopes to launch in Sao Paulo in the second quarter and in Rio de Janeiro by the end of the year. Schindler says that he is ‘pleased’ with the progress made by the Brazilian firm, which he says is ‘competing with one arm tied’ behind its back, but has successfully deployed 2,400 3G-enabled sites on its network. However, from the first quarter of 2014, NII Holdings is confident that growth will return and that the unit will be able to focus on increasing its subscriber base. Nextel Brasil booked revenue from operations of USD635.9 million in Q1 2013, a near 23% drop on the same period a year ago, with service revenue down 21% at USD617 million. Operating profit of USD23.4 million compared favourably with the USD9.1 million income booked in the fourth quarter of 2012, although the total subscriber base fell 8% y-o-y to 3.88 million.