Telebrás was the Brazilian state-owned monopoly telephone system. It was broken up in July 1998 into twelve separate companies, nicknamed the 'Baby Bras' companies, that were auctioned to private bidders. The new companies were the long distance operator Embratel, three fixed line regional telephony companies and eight cellular companies.
Attempts at privatization began during Fernando Collor de Mello's administration in 1990, as part of an economic reform dubbed National Privatization Program (Portuguese: Programa Nacional de Desestatização), within the Plano Collor, which was conducted by then-finance minister Zélia Cardoso de Mello The privatization was carried out some 8 years later during the administration of Fernando Henrique Cardoso, on July 29, 1998.
According to Carlos Henrique Moreira (president of Embratel), in the eight years after the privatization, from 1998 to 2006, the fixed and mobile telephone subscriber base increased by 27.4 million to 139 million, at an annual rate of 20%, generating an annual increase of income of 18%, from R$ 31 billion to R$ 121 billion). The government's tax revenue grew from R$ 9.3 billion to R$ 33.1 billion at an annual growth rate of 17%. The telecommunication services' penetration grew from 24% to 72%, or 17% annually. The number of direct jobs for the "Baby Brás" companies increased from 180,000 to 305,000, an annual increase of 7%."
- Scielo: Os efeitos da privatização sobre o desempenho econômico e financeiro das empresas privatizadas (Portuguese)
- Epstein, Jack. Unbundling Telebras. Time Magazine. August 10, 1998. Retrieved on September 4, 2007.
- Painel TELEBRASIL: Brasil Digital surge como realidade irreversível