Business

Brazilian phone carriers invested BRL 6.9 billion in the first quarter

The resources indicate an increase of 6% over last year and were basically applied on the reinforcement and expansion of networks

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  • The president of Sinditelebrasil believes companies will maintain the same level of investment in following months;
  • In the pandemic, there was an average 30% increase in traffic on the networks.

Telephone carriers invested BRL 6.9 billion in Brazil in the first quarter of 2020, according to a survey by Sinditelebrasil, a trade group that gathers the largest firms in the sector, as reported by Valor Econômico. The resources indicate an increase of 6% in relation to the same period last year and were basically applied on the reinforcement and expansion of networks.

The president of Sinditelebrasil, Marcos Ferrari, told the newspaper that the first quarter of this year did not reflect the harshest effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy, however, he predicts that companies will maintain the same level of investment in the following months. This may occur, he said, due to the role assumed by the sector in the current crisis, which has required the full functioning of networks to serve the population that needs to work from home and comply with social isolation measures.

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Ferrari explained to Valor Econômico that the effects of the pandemic began to be noticed by telcos in the last two weeks of the first quarter. At the time, according to him, there was a “great stress” in view of the uncertainties of the crisis that was being announced. In addition, the sector would still have to pay for the Telecommunications Inspection Fund (Fistel) in a single installment of almost BRL 4 billion in April – later, the government extended the term to August.

The president of the entity added that the operators still live with the threat of default by customers and cancellation of service plans due to the economic crisis.

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In the pandemic, there was an average 30% increase in traffic on the networks. Ferrari believes that the investments that have been made have ensured the maintenance of service quality, with only isolated records of failure. Currently, Brazil has 306 million lines in operation. The main services offered are internet connection, mobile and fixed telephony and pay TV.