(Adds comments from executive, share performance, context)
By Ana Mano
SAO PAULO Oct 18 Telefónica Brasil SA
, the nation's biggest phone carrier, will keep
investing about 8 billion reais ($2.5 billion) annually,
outgoing Chief Executive Officer Amos Genish said on Tuesday,
bucking a trend of smaller capital spending among rivals in
Latin America's largest economy.
The carrier, controlled by Spain's Telefónica SA, has chosen
to invest more on digital services over traditional capital
spending because "a model that focuses on voice over broadband
is out of date," Genish said at an industry event in São Paulo.
Genish will be replaced at the end of the year by Eduardo
Navarro de Carvalho, currently chief commercial digital officer
at Madrid-based Telefónica. His remarks also suggest
that Telefónica Brasil has no intent to pare back investments as
rival TIM Participações SA did in July.
The transformation in Brazil's telecommunications industry
away from fixed-line concessions and voice services was being
helped by an overhaul in sector rules, he said. Analysts expect
the new rules will clear Congress next year.
The government and carriers are working on a shared agenda
"for the first time in years," Genish said, which should help to
calculate the value of assets related to current concessions,
automatically bringing more investments to the sector.
Shares of Telefonica Brasil rose 1.1 percent to 44.07 reais
in early afternoon trading, in line with a gain in Brazil's
benchmark Bovespa stock index.
($1 = 3.18 reais)
(Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Brad Haynes and Alan Crosby)