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Ar Telecom adds 30 thousand customers of Tmax technology (changed)

Sapo opens laboratory at the University of Aveiro

This morning Ar Telecom presented an activity balance and set goals for 2007. The company currently serves 30 thousand customers and already covers 300 thousand homes with the technology triple play wireless, TMax. By the end of this year, Miguel Martins, the company’s CEO, sets a goal of reaching 200,000 homes in the past and increasing the number of homes covered by the technology to 580,000. To achieve this objective, the company will more than double the sales team, which will increase from 100 to 240 elements.

Over the past year, Ar Telecom had a turnover of 30 million euros, of which 25 percent of revenues were obtained through data and Internet services. The company’s results in this period benefited from new technological developments that made the equipment installed in buildings more efficient to provide television, Internet and voice services, increasing the dimension of the cluster covered by each base station and lowering the cost per house passed by about 20 percent.

Internationally, Ar Telecom has been analyzing business opportunities in Romania, Poland, Czech Republic and more recently in Greece. The latter country was considered the most interesting to invest in, as it does not yet have a cable offer, it only covers it. Miguel Martins admits negotiations with local operators that could lead to the entry of the Portuguese operator in that market.

In Brazil, Ar Telecom already has an offer and has been developing a plan to expand geographic coverage, which at the end of the year will allow it to cover an area more populated than the Portuguese territory. In addition to the organic growth plans, the company is studying the possibility of acquiring a local operator to accelerate business expansion. By the end of the year, the goal is to reach 60 thousand services sold.

Interest in Digital Terrestrial Television reconfirmed

The interest of Pereira Coutinho’s group in Digital Terrestrial Television continues, Miguel Martins, responsible for the telecommunications arm of SGC, also confirmed today. The official defended that the technology, together with WiMax, will be the complement that Ar Telecom needs to give national coverage to its current offer. This is because TMax is currently supported by base stations that offer coverage between 2 and 4 kilometers, a coverage that makes commercial expansion of areas with low population density impossible.

The DVB-H technology of digital terrestrial television and WiMax (which is also not yet licensed) would complement the offer available to major centers. The company also points out the know-how already acquired with a competitive advantage over other competitors, as it is already working with the standard that will support DTT.

Miguel Martins also stresses that granting a license for DTT to an operator already with another national network means the cannibalization of offers and a weak investment in the development of DTT, shared with the investment in a second network.

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