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Amid debt talks, Oi targets new FTTH records in 2023

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, January 04, 2023
Amid debt talks, Oi targets new FTTH records in 2023

Amid pending debt negotiations with creditors, Brazilian telco Oi, which recently emerged from bankruptcy protection, is renewing its bet on expanding fiber-to-the-home (FTTH).

In a new update, the company claims to have broken its monthly record for FTTH growth, taking the service to 20 new municipalities in October – the most for a single month in 2022, although Oi has not yet disclosed figures for November and December.

The telco said it expects to continue at a similar pace of expansion in 2023 in different regions of the country.

Oi's fiber service has reached 277 municipalities, with around 4mn clients and 19mn homes passed as of October.

The company said it added 32,900 fiber clients during the month and nearly 500,000 in January to October.

The growth is thanks to V.tal, the neutral fiber network in which the operator became a partner after selling the control of its fiber backbone structure to funds linked to BTG Pactual.

The sale allowed Oi to cut fiber deployment costs, which are now footed by V.tal, and start focusing only on the last mile FTTH connection and on the commercial relationship with customers.

DEBT TALKS

Despite having emerged from bankruptcy protection and reaping gains in fiber, the company remains in a tight financial situation. The telco has proposed to creditors a new US$1bn loan to help provide liquidity for its short-term operations.  

Under the proposal, financing could come from current creditors or other investors. Maturity would be in 2027, with interest payments at 9% annually.

The guarantee for the loan would be its shares in V.tal. At present, Oi has 34.12% of V.tal. Talks are ongoing.

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