(Adds comments from executive, share performance, context)
By Ana Mano
SAO PAULO, Oct 18 (Reuters) - 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more on digital services over traditional capital spending because “a model that focuses on voice over broadband is out of date,” Genish said at an industry event in São Paulo.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