Telefonica Brasil plans FTTH broadband expansion

Telefonica Vivo BrazilTelefonica Brasil COO Christian Gebara said the company will expand its FTTH broadband service to more than 20 new cities in 2018, Reuters reported.

The number of homes with access to the company’s FTTH network will more than double to almost 15 million in the next three years from the current 7 million as Brazil’s largest telecom operator eyes ambitious growth among wealthier client.

“Today, we have 87 cities, and when we talk about the number of homes passed today, we’re talking about 7 million. Our estimate for the next three years is to more than double this number,” Christian Gebara said at Telefonica Brasil’s headquarters in Sao Paulo.

Telefonica Brasil, which operates under the Vivo brand, is among a number of telecoms firms in Latin America’s largest economy focusing on fixed-line broadband as the mobile market becomes saturated.

In March, Vivo released its 2018-2020 strategy plan, forecasting 26.5 billion reais or $7.8 billion in investments. The plan emphasized FTTH expansion, in which fiber goes all the way into the customer’s home, significantly improving data speeds.

The telecom operator has already earmarked about 2.5 billion reais for broadband. COO Christian Gebara said another 5 billion reais would likely be dedicated to that segment in order to speed up broadband growth.

Vivo is already moving into new markets and going head to head with local broadband firms, Gebara said. The company will also examine possible acquisitions in the Brazil’s broadband market.

Among the broadband players in Brazil for sale is the telecoms unit of Cia Energetica de Minas Gerais SA, known as Cemig.

Gebara said while the unit was not a total match with Vivo’s FTTH strategy, Vivo was taking a serious look.