EUA – Bloomberg.com – 12/03/2010
Vivo Participacoes SA, Brazil’s largest mobile-phone company, is ready to offer high-speed Internet services for less than half the current industry average if the government agrees to cut taxes, Chief Executive Officer Roberto Lima said.
Vivo is seeking to be included in a Brazilian plan that may offer tax breaks for companies that help the government reach its goal of expanding high-speed Internet service to all cities, Lima said in an interview in Brasilia.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is considering investing $11.2 billion in a plan to cut the price of high-speed Web access by at least half to 35 reais ($19.78) or less a month, Cezar Alvarez, national coordinator of digital policy, said last month. Lima said Vivo is ready to sell high-speed Internet access for 29.80 reais a month.
Lula’s plan is focused on fixed-line carriers, Lima said.
“Brazilian mobile companies are not being adequately considered for the broadband expansion plan,” Lima, 58, said yesterday. “We can provide Internet services to places where fixed lines are not available. We can expand service faster than fixed-line carriers.”
Vivo climbed 2.2 percent to 50.90 reais in Sao Paulo trading at 16:21 p.m. New York time, the highest price since February 19.
Sao Paulo-based Vivo is prepared to lease fiber-optic networks from state-owned companies, including Petroleo Brasileiro SA and Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA, if the government cuts taxes on sales and equipment, Lima said.
To increase competition, the government may allow Telecomunicacoes Brasileiras SA to sell broadband services directly to consumers, Social Communication Minister Franklin Martins said this week. Brazil may give Telebras, as the Rio de Janeiro-based company is known, the right to manage 21,000 kilometers (13,051 miles) of fiber-optic networks to offer Web services to customers that private companies aren’t willing to serve.
“If the government allows the companies to access state- owned infrastructure, we are willing to provide services to cities under the plan,” Lima said.
By Carla Simoes and Andre Soliani