An article published by State of S. Paulo states that the situation of Hi concerns federal government officials: the newspaper points out the fear that regions of the country will be without the fixed telephone service provided by the company next year, and says that the Anatel would be obliged to intervene in the operator. The agency denies considering this, as it prefers a “market solution”.
If an intervention were made, one of the alternatives would be to withdraw Oi’s concession from the fixed telephony service. The operator is a concessionaire for this service in all states of Brazil, with the exception of São Paulo, where the holder is Telefônica / Vivo.
Anatel’s president, Leonardo Euler de Morais, explains in a press release that “the information published today (…) regarding the imminent possibility of decree or application of expiry to the fixed telephony concessions of the Oi S / A Group is not attested” .
Euler also states that Anatel has been monitoring Oi’s situation permanently since 2014, and that “a definitive market solution is the preferred scenario for the positive evolution” of the operator. Any other solutions would be exceptional to guarantee the safest position and favorable to the public interest.
Oi faces crisis amid judicial recovery
Oi has not been in good financial health for a long time, and filed for bankruptcy in 2016. The operator added debts in excess of R $ 65 billion, at the time being the largest recovery process ever – in 2019, the Odebrecht group formally filed a claim with debts of R $ 80 billion in court.
In its most recent strategic plan for the next three years, the operator announced a greater concentration of efforts to expand its fixed network, with a bold goal of covering 16 million households with optical fiber. FTTH technology should replace the current copper network, which serves more than 7 million customers.
Oi closed the second quarter of 2019 with a loss of R $ 1.55 billion, a drop in revenues and debt of R $ 12.5 billion, an increase of more than 25% compared to the previous year.
With information: Anatel.