Chinese vendor Huawei has denied press reports suggesting that it may partner with China Mobile in a bid to acquire Brazilian telecom operator Oi.
“Huawei has no plans or interest to acquire Oi or any other Brazilian carrier. With more than 20 years in Brazil, the company works with all major Brazilian operators, offering the best products and solutions to support the country’s digital transformation,” the Chinese vendor said in an emailed statement to RCR Wireless News.
Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported on Saturday that Huawei Technologies has been exploring a partnership with China Mobile to potentially enter a dispute to acquire struggling Brazilian carrier Oi with the aim of boosting its footprint in Latin America’s largest market.
According to the report, both Huawei and China Mobile anticipate a significant growth in business once Brazil starts deploying its 5G network infrastructure and Oi’s 360,000 kilometers of fiber infrastructure is seen as an attractive asset in that scenario.
Last week, Brazilian news site Suno Notícias reported that China Mobile has filed a request to be informed of all the conditions required to operate in the Brazilian market and eventually acquire Oi. However, the country’s telecom regulatory agency Anatel said on Sept. 17 that it did not have any official information regarding the request.
In the past week, Telecom Italia and Telefonica Brasil both denied reports in the Brazilian media that they’re in talks to potentially acquire Oi.
Founded in 1998 as Telemar, Brazil’s largest fixed-line operator Oi has been trying to revive its business since filing for bankruptcy protection in June 2016. In the second quarter of this year, the telco reported a net loss of R$1.62 billion ($392 million) compared to R$766 million profit in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, in June, Brazilian vice-president Hamilton Mourao said his government would not exclude Huawei from taking part in the deployment of 5G mobile telecoms network in the country. Mourao had met Huawei chairman and CEO Ren Zhengfei on a trip to China the month before.
Brazilian mobile operator TIM Participacoes had previously confirmed that it was using Huawei equipment to conduct 5G network tests in southern Brazil.
The Brazilian government expects to award spectrum for the provision of 5G technologies across the country in 2020, according to previous reports.
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