Brazilian regulator Anatel ruled that Telefonica can expand mobile coverage in underserved locations instead of slapping its local unit Vivo a fine to the tune of BRL45.2 million (US$8.5m).
Anatel said in a translated statement that it preferred the operator to use the money to deploy infrastructure to boost coverage for customers, instead of taking the money itself.
The regulator detailed that this “appropriate measure” forces Vivo to choose locations with no 4G coverage, and cannot be fulfilled through network sharing with rivals, rental agreements or industrial exploitation contracts.
The expansion must equal the fine or cost more and must cover deployment and maintenance. Telefonica has under two months to notify the operator of its decision to fulfil the obligation or pay the fine, the latter will be applied if no answer is given.
Anatel stated a preference for network expansion, particularly for areas in the northeast regions of Brazil.