Brazil round-up: TIM Brasil to sell masts to American Tower Corp; Sky extends TD-LTE footprint; major players interested in BRFibra

21 Nov 2014

Telecom Italia is poised sell the mobile phone towers of its Brazilian unit, TIM Participacoes (TIM Brasil), to American Tower Corp (ATC) for around EUR900 million (USD1.1 billion), two sources familiar with the situation have informed Reuters. According to one of the sources, a deal has already been worked out and could be announced at a Telecom Italia board meeting today (Friday 21 November).

According to Convergencia Digital, Sky Brasil Servicos (Sky Brazil) has extended the footprint of its 4G Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) service to a number of new locations in Sao Paulo state, including Cerquilho, Tiete, Tatura, Ibiuna and Boituva, reports Convergencia Digital. The service, branded ‘Sky Banda Larga’, is already available in Sao Paulo municipalities such as Cristais Paulista, Franca, Patrocinio Paulista, Restanga, Presidente Prudente, Sorocaba and Bauru. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Sky Brazil offers TD-LTE connectivity in more than 50 cities across 18 states, with its network supporting downlink transmission speeds of up to 4Mbps; a monthly subscription was priced at BRL74.90 (USD31.40).

Meanwhile, Porto Alegre-based fibre wholesaler BRFibra has revealed that it has received various acquisition offers, including bids from Telefonica and TIM Brasil, its commercial director Eduardo Lites has told Folha de Sao Paulo. The company’s network extends from Rio Grande do Sul (the southernmost state in Brazil) to the north-east of the country, and spans 15,000km, connecting the major metropolitan areas.

Finally, Angel Vila, Telefonica’s chief financial officer, has strongly hinted that Vivo, the company’s Brazilian unit, is prepared to play an active part in the market’s future consolidation. Speaking at a conference organised by Morgan Stanley in Barcelona, Bloomberg quotes Vila as saying: ‘Consolidation could create lots of value, but we can assess many options and see what would be our role. We are in a position to participate, but probably we don’t need to be the ones to initiate. There are lot of scenarios being speculated in Brazil. Any of those scenarios are scenarios in which Telefonica can have a substantial role. We have no urgency.’