Oi (telecommunications)

Initially," title="</pre> }} Initially," target="_blank">Telemar was allowed to offer only local voice and data services and interstate long distance voice services. Today, Telemar and its subsidiaries offer local, long distance and international voice and data services, besides a growing mobile phone network.

Currently, Oi has 15.2 million land lines in service, 5.7 million [[wireless] costumers, 0.4 million ADSL subscribers, and about 38 thousand employees.

The states that formed the base of Telemar at its inception were Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Bahia, Sergipe, Alagoas, Pernambuco, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte, Piauí, Ceará, Maranhão, Pará, Amazonas, Amapá and Roraima, corresponding to 65% of the Brazilian territory and 20 million households.

Oi's stock is traded on Bovespa, where it is part of the Ibovespa index.

In April 2006, it was announced that Telemar would restructure itself, merging its three holding companies into a single company, that would have been named either Telemar Participações S.A. or Oi Participações S.A. However, those plans failed, since there was no consensus between Telemar shareholders. But in March 1 2007, Telemar rebranded itself to "Oi, unfiying all of its companies and services under the Oi umbrella. The company is still legally known as "Telemar Norte Leste S.A.", "Tele Norte Leste Participações S.A." and "Telemar Participações S.A.". Oi owns the brands:

  • Oi Fixo (landline service, formerly Telefone Telemar)
  • Oi Móvel (mobile service, the "original Oi")
  • Oi Velox (ADSL, formerly Velox)
  • Oi Internet (ISP)
  • 31 (long distance and international calling)
  • Oi Voip (Voice over IP)
  • Oi Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi access, at home or via hotspots)

Oi Móvel

Oi launched its mobile network in 2002 in its license states. It was the first network using GSM in Brazil. Oi has the practice of not calling its phones "cell phones", but rather "Ois". In 2007, Oi started selling only unlocked handsets, focusing on SIM card and plan sales. In October 2007, Oi acquired a license to operate with GSM in São Paulo, where the network will go live in 2008. In December 2007, Oi purchased licenses to operate a 3G network in its area, including São Paulo, but with the exception of the Franca area. That network is also expected to go live in 2008. Also in December 2007, Oi announced its purchase of Amazônia Celular, which was a condition of the sale of its sister company, Telemig Celular, to Vivo.

Oi Internet

Oi Internet is an ISP that was launched in 2004. Oi Internet started services with a promotion that offered 31% off the dial-up connection costs on the subscriber's bill. However, Anatel, the Brazilian telecom regulator, didn't allow this practice. Later, the ISP relaunched the promotion, offering 31% of the dial-up connection costs deposited in the subscriber's bank account or twice of that on a prepaid Oi phone. The Oi Internet dial-up dialer can send SMS messages to Oi phones.

In early 2005, Oi Internet launched its broadband services, initially available only for Oi's Oi Velox DSL subscribers, but now also available for Brasil Telecom Turbo and Telefónica Speedy subscribers.

Brasil Telecom purchase

In 2008, Oi announced it would purchase Brasil Telecom, creating a major Brazilian telecommunications company, already nicknamed "Supertele" or "SuperOi". That takeover will require changes in current legislation, since current law prohibits a fixed telephone company from purchasing another fixed telephone company in a different license area.



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