Telebrás forecasts US$128mn infra investment for World Cup, Olympics

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Brazil's state-run telecom company, Telebrás, is expecting to invest around 200mn reais (US$128mn) to assure telecom and IT infrastructure for the World Cup and Olympic Games to be held in the country, Arthur Coimbra, broadband department director at the communications ministry, told BNamericas.

While the 200mn reais may seem low, the expected outlay is solely with respect to Telebrás' investment in the sector and does not include other operators' investments, he said on the sidelines of a conference at the US Chamber of Commerce in São Paulo, aimed at addressing the telecom challenges Brazil has ahead of both events.

Regarding the World Cup, to be held in 2014, the telco will invest in ICT infrastructure wherever it needs to complement and meet the needs of the network that operator Oi (NYSE: TNE) - sponsor and official telecommunications service provider for the event - is currently preparing and building out.

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To clarify that, an agreement on responsibilities is being drawn up by Oi, the communications ministry, the sports ministry, telecoms watchdog Anatel and the FIFA World Cup committee, Coimbra said, and will be announced in the next three weeks by the government. The document will regulate and outline the specific responsibilities of each entity involved in the events.

Coimbra also said that by December 2013, at least nine of the 13 World Cup host cities will have all of their telecoms infrastructure ready.

The city of Rio de Janeiro will host the Summer Olympic Games in 2016.