About Oi (telecommunications)
Oi (Portuguese for “Hi”) formerly known as Telemar, is the largest telecommunications telephone company in Brazil and the second largest in Latin America, after Mexican América Móvil, considering both lines in service and revenues. It is headquartered in Rio de Janeiro. Oi, along with Telemar Internet Ltda. (Oi Internet) and Companhia AIX Participacoes S.A., are subsidiaries of Tele Norte Leste Participacoes SA (Tele Norte Leste Holding Company, or TNL).
Oi (then known as Telemar) was formed as Tele Norte Leste to merge sixteen state-owned incumbent local exchange carriers, during the privatization of Brazilian telecommunications system. Each carrier served a particular Brazilian state in the northern, northeastern and southeastern part of the country. In the break-up of Telebras in 1998 it was sold to a consortium led by the Brazilian construction firm Andrade Gutierrez (21.2%) and Inepar Holdings (20%) as well as other Brazilian corporate and individual investors. The consortium paid 3.434 billion reais.
Initially, 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 22.2 million land lines in service, 31.7 million wireless customers, 4 million ADSL subscribers (2009) and about 44 thousand employees.