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As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 24, 2022

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 20-F

(Mark One)

REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

OR

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

OR

SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

Commission file number: 001-14475

TELEFÔNICA BRASIL S.A.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

TELEFÔNICA BRAZIL S.A.

(Translation of Registrant’s name into English)

Federative Republic of Brazil

(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

Avenida Engenheiro Luis Carlos Berrini, 1376, 32º andar

04571-936 São Paulo, SP, Brazil

(Address of principal executive offices)

(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)

David Melcon Sanchez-Friera

Telephone +55 11 3430 3687

Avenida Engenheiro Luis Carlos Berrini, 1376, CEP 04571-936, São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Email: ir.br@telefonica.com

(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

   

Trading Symbol(s)

   

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Shares, without par value

VIVT3

New York Stock Exchange*

American Depositary Shares (as evidenced by American Depositary Receipts), each representing one Common Share

VIV

New York Stock Exchange

*

Not for trading purposes, but only in connection with the registration on the New York Stock Exchange of American Depositary Shares representing those Common Shares.

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act: None

Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.

The number of outstanding shares of each class (excluding treasury shares) as of December 31, 2021 was:

Title of Class

    

Number of Shares Outstanding

(excluding treasury shares)

Common Shares

1,676,938,271

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

Yes No

If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Yes No

Note – Checking the box above will not relieve any registrant required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 from their obligations under those Sections.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files):

Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filers,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

Large Accelerated Filer

Accelerated Filer

Non-accelerated Filer

Emerging Growth Company

If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

† The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management's assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:

U.S. GAAP

International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board

Other

If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.

Item 17 Item 18

If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).

Yes No

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

Introduction

i

Glossary of Telecommunication Terms

iv

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

vii

Presentation of Financial Information

ix

Part I

1

Item 1.

Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers

1

Item 2.

Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable

1

Item 3.

Key Information

1

Item 4.

Information on the Company

21

Item 4A.

Unresolved Staff Comments

66

Item 5.

Operating and Financial Review and Prospects

66

Item 6.

Directors, Senior Management and Employees

81

Item 7.

Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions

93

Item 8.

Financial Information

94

Item 9.

The Offer and Listing

104

Item 10.

Additional Information

107

Item 11.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

135

Item 12.

Description of Securities Other Than Equity Securities

135

Part II

137

Item 13.

Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies

137

Item 14.

Material Modifications to the Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds

137

Item 15.

Controls and Procedures

137

Item 16.

[Reserved]

138

Item 16a.

Audit Committee Financial Expert

138

Item 16b.

Code of Ethics

138

Item 16c.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

139

Item 16d.

Exemptions From the Listing Standards for Audit Committees Procedures

140

Item 16e.

Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers

140

Item 16f.

Change in Registrant’s Certifying Accountant

142

Item 16g.

Corporate Governance

142

Item 16h.

Mine Safety Disclosure

146

Item 16i.

Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections

146

Part III

147

Item 17.

Financial Statements

147

Item 18.

Financial Statements

147

Item 19.

Exhibits

147

Signatures

150

INTRODUCTION

References in this annual report to “Telefônica Brasil,” “we,” “our,” “us,” “our company” and “the company” are to Telefônica Brasil S.A. and its consolidated subsidiaries (unless the context otherwise requires). All references in this annual report to:

“ADRs” are to the American Depositary Receipts evidencing our ADSs;
“ADSs” are to our American Depositary Shares, each representing one of our common shares;
“ANATEL” are to Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações, the Brazilian telecommunications regulatory agency;
“B3” are to B3 S.A. – Brasil, Bolsa, Balcão, the São Paulo stock exchange and a Brazil-based financial market infrastructure provider;
“BNDES” are to Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social, the Brazilian Development Bank;
“Brazil” are to the Federative Republic of Brazil;
“Brazilian Corporate Law” are to Law No. 6,404 of December 15, 1976, as amended;
“CADE” are to Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica, the Brazilian competition authority;
“CDI” are to Certificado de Depósito Interbancário, the Certificate for Interbank Deposits;
“Central Bank” are to the Banco Central do Brasil, the Brazilian Central Bank;
“Claro” are to Claro S.A. and its affiliates, a telecommunications service provider in Brazil and our competitor;
“CMN” are to the Conselho Monetário Nacional, the Brazilian Monetary Council;
“common shares” are to the common shares of Telefônica Brasil;
“COPOM” are to the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank (Comitê de Política Monetária do Banco Central do Brasil);
“CTBC Telecom” are to Companhia de Telecomunicações do Brasil Central;
“CVM” are to the Comissão de Valores Mobiliários, the Brazilian Securities Commission;
“Federal District” are to Distrito Federal, the federal district where Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, is located;
“FGV” are to the Fundação Getúlio Vargas, a private higher education institution;
“General Telecommunications Law” are to Law No. 9,472/1997, or Lei Geral de Telecomunicações, as amended, the law that regulates the telecommunications industry in Brazil;
“Global Telecom” are to Global Telecom S.A., formerly a Vivo subsidiary before Vivo’s corporate restructuring;
“GVT” are to Operating GVT and GVTPar, collectively, formerly wholly-owned subsidiaries of Telefônica Brasil prior to our 2016 corporate restructuring;
“GVTPar” are to GVT Participações S.A., a formerly wholly-owned subsidiary of Telefônica Brasil prior to our 2016 corporate restructuring;
“IASB” are to International Accounting Standards Board;
“IBGE” are to Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics;
“IFRS” are to International Financial Reporting Standards, as issued by the IASB;

i

“IGP-DI” are to the Índice Geral de Preços - Disponibilidade Interna, an inflation index developed by the FGV used by fixed broadband and mobile service providers to adjust their prices;
“IGP-M” are to the Índice Geral de Preços ao Mercado, an inflation index developed by the FGV used by TV and cable service providers to adjust their prices;
“IOF Tax” are to Imposto sobre Operações de Crédito, Câmbio e Seguros, a tax on credit, exchange and insurance transactions;
“IPCA” are to Índice Nacional de Preços ao Consumidor Amplo, the consumer price index, published by the IBGE;
“New General Telecommunications Law” are to Law No. 13,879/2019, which amended and reformed the General Telecommunications Law;
“NYSE” are to the New York Stock Exchange;
“Oi” or the “Oi Group” are to Oi Móvel S.A. - Em Recuperação Judicial, Oi S.A. - Em Recuperação Judicial and Oi S.A. - Em Recuperação Judicial and their affiliates, a telecommunications service provider in Brazil and our competitor;
“Oi Agreement” means that certain share purchase agreement dated January 28, 2021, by and among Oi Móvel S.A. - Em Recuperação Judicial, as seller, and the Company, TIM and Claro, as Buyers, and Oi S.A. - Em Recuperação Judicial and Telemar Norte Leste S.A. - Em Recuperação Judicial, as intervening parties and guarantors of the seller's obligations.
“Operating GVT” are to Global Village Telecom S.A., a formerly wholly-owned subsidiary of Telefônica Brasil prior to our 2016 corporate restructuring;
“preferred shares” or “preferred stock” are to the shares of non-voting preferred stock of Telefônica Brasil, which were all converted into common shares of Telefônica Brasil effective as of after market close on November 20, 2020. Our preferred shares ceased to trade on November 23, 2020;
Real,” “reais” or R$ are to the Brazilian real, the official currency of Brazil;
“SEC” are to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission;
“SELIC rate” are to Brazil's benchmark interest rate (Sistema Especial de Liquidação e de Custódia), as set by the COPOM;
“SP Telecom” are to SP Telecomunicações Participações Ltda.;
“TData” are to Telefônica Data S.A., a formerly wholly-owned subsidiary of Telefônica Brasil prior to our 2018 corporate restructuring;
“Telecom Italia” are to Telecom Italia S.p.A.;
“Telefónica” are to Telefónica S.A., our parent company;
“Telefónica LATAM” are to Telefónica Latinoamérica Holding, S.L.;
“Terra” are to Terra Networks Brasil Ltda. (formerly known as Terra Networks Brasil S.A. prior to the change in its corporate form as of September 30, 2020), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Telefônica Brasil; Terra provides digital and advertising services;
“TIM” are to TIM S.A., TIM Participações S.A., and their affiliates, a telecommunications service provider in Brazil and our competitor;
“TJLP” are to Taxa de Juros de Longo Prazo, or long-term interest rate;
“UMBNDES” are to a monetary unit of the BNDES, consisting of a currency basket of BNDES debt obligations in foreign currencies, which are mostly denominated in U.S. dollars;

ii

“U.S. dollar,” “U.S. dollars” or “US$” are to U.S. dollars, the official currency of the United States;
“Vivo” are to Vivo S.A., a formerly wholly-owned subsidiary of Telefônica Brasil, which conducted cellular operations including SMP (as defined in the Glossary of Telecommunication Terms), nationwide;
“Vivo Participações” are to Vivo Participações S.A. (formerly TELESP Celular Participações S.A.) and its consolidated subsidiaries (unless the context otherwise requires); and
“WHO” means the World Health Organization.

Unless otherwise specified, data relating to the Brazilian telecommunications industry included in this annual report was obtained from ANATEL.

The “Glossary of Telecommunications Terms” that begins on the following page defines certain technical terms used in this annual report.

iii

GLOSSARY OF TELECOMMUNICATION TERMS

The following explanations are not intended as technical definitions, but to assist the reader in understanding certain terms as used in this Annual Report.

5G standalone: The standard technology defined by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) to deliver 5G services. 5G standalone core architecture is completely independent from prior technologies (2G, 3G and 4G) and was conceived to support the streaming of ultra-low latency broadband.

Analog: A mode of transmission or switching that is not digital, e.g., the representation of voice, video or other modulated electrical audio signals, which are not in digital form.

Cellular service: A cellular telecommunications service provided by means of a network of interconnected low-powered base stations, each of which covers one small geographic cell within the total cellular telecommunications system service area.

Digital: A mode of representing a physical variable such as speech using digits 0 and 1 only. The digits are transmitted in binary form as a series of pulses. Digital networks allow for higher capacity and higher flexibility through the use of computer-related technology for the transmission and manipulation of telephone calls. Digital systems offer lower noise interference and can incorporate encryption as protection from external interference.

DSS: Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, a new antenna technology that for the first time enables the parallel use of LTE and 5G in the same frequency.

DTH: A special type of service that uses satellites for the direct distribution of television and audio signs for subscribers.

DWDM: Dense wavelength-division multiplexing, an optical fiber multiplexing technology that is used to increase the bandwidth of existing fiber networks.

EILD: Exploração Industrial de Linha Dedicada, or the industrial exploration of dedicated service lines, which are regulated by ANATEL.

FISTEL: The Fund for Telecommunication Regulation (Fundo de Fiscalização das Telecomunicações).

FTTC: Internet access through Fiber Optic (“Fiber to the Curb”).

FTTH: Internet access through Fiber Optic (“Fiber to the Home”).

FUNTTEL: The Fund for Telecommunication Technological Development (Fundo para o Desenvolvimento Tecnológico das Telecomunicações).

FUST: The Fund for Universal Access to Telecommunication Services (Fundo de Universalização dos Serviços de Telecomunicações).

FWT: Fixed-phones using the wireless network (“Fixed Wireless Telephone”).

GSM: Global System for Mobile Communications, a service rendered by concession from ANATEL for a specific frequency range.

IMS: IP Multimedia Core Network Subsystem, an architectural framework that standardizes alternative methods of delivering VoIP or other multimedia services to mobile phones across the industry.

Interconnection fee: Amount paid per minute charged by network operators for the use of their network by other network operators.

iv

Internet: A collection of interconnected networks spanning the entire world, including university, corporate, government and research networks from around the globe. These networks all use the IP (Internet Protocol) communications protocol.

IoT: Internet of things, a term that describes physical objects embedded with sensors, processing ability, software, and other technologies that connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet or other communications network.

IP (internet protocol): An interconnection protocol for sub-networks, in particular for those with different physical characteristics used by the Internet.

IPTV: Pay TV with video broadcasting offered through the use of the IPs.

IST: Índice de Serviços de Telecomunicações, or the inflation index of the telecommunications sector.

LTE: Long Term Evolution, a standard for wireless broadband communication for mobile devices and data terminals.

Measured services: all calls that originate and terminate within the same area code within our concession region.

MMDS: (Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service): Wireless telecommunications technology, used for general-purpose broadband networking or, more commonly, as an alternative method of cable television programming reception.

MTR: Tarifa de Terminação Móvel, an interconnection fee for the use of our mobile services network.

MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator): Wireless communications services provider that does not own the wireless network infrastructure over which the MVNO provides services to its customers.

Net additions: the total number of new customers acquired in any period minus the reduction in the number of customers.

Network: An interconnected collection of elements. In a telephone network, these consist of switches connected to each other and to customer equipment. The transmission equipment may be based on fiber optic or metallic cable or point-to-point radio connections.

NGN: next-generation network is a body of key architectural changes in telecommunication core and access networks. The general idea behind the NGN is that one network transports all information and services (voice, data, and all sorts of media such as video) by encapsulating these into packets, similar to those used on the Internet.

NR: New Radio, a new radio access technology for the 5G mobile network.

OTT: An over-the-top service, which offers media service offered directly to viewers via the Internet and bypasses cable, broadcast, and satellite television platforms.

PGMC: Plano Geral de Metas de Competição, or the General Competition Targets Plan, as amended by ANATEL Resolution No. 694/2018.

PGO: Plano Geral de Outorgas, or General Plan of Grants.

PGMU: Plano Geral de Metas de Universalização, or General Universal Service Targets Plan.

PGMQ: Plano Geral de Metas de Qualidade General, or Quality Targets Plan.

PMS: A telecom service provider with significant market power (poder de mercado significativo) under ANATEL regulations.

RAN: Radio Access Network, the part of a telecommunications system that connects individual devices to other parts of a network through radio connections.

RQUAL: Regulamento de Qualidade dos Serviços de Telecomunicações, or the ANATEL service quality regulations.

v

SBC: Session border controller, a network element deployed to protect SIP-based VoIP networks.

SCM: Serviço de Comunicação Multimídia or multimedia communication services.

SeAC: Serviço de Acesso Condicionado or Conditional Access Service, a service rendered pursuant to an authorization granted by ANATEL to provide Pay TV service throughout all regions of Brazil.

SIP: a VoIP-based signaling protocol used for initiating, maintaining, and terminating real-time sessions that include voice, video and messaging applications.

SMP: Serviço Móvel Pessoal or Personal Mobile Service, a service rendered pursuant to an authorization granted by ANATEL to provide mobile service in a specific frequency range.

SMS: Text messaging services for wireless devices, which allow customers to send and receive alphanumerical messages.

STFC: Serviço de Telefônia Fixo Comutado, or the transmission of voice and other signals between determined fixed points. In this annual report, we refer to STFC as “fixed telephone services.”

Switch: Devices used to set up and route telephone calls either to the number called or to the next switch along the path. They may also record information for billing and control purposes.

TDD: Time-division duplex, one of the two mobile data transmission technologies of the technology standard.

TU-RIU: The Tarifa de Uso de Rede Interurbana, an interconnection fee for the use of our long-distance, fixed-line service network.

TU-RL: The Tarifa de Uso de Rede Local, an interconnection fee for the use of our local, fixed-line service network.

Universal service: The obligation to supply basic service to all users throughout a national territory at reasonable prices.

VoIP: Voice over Internet Protocol, a technology for transmitting voice using the Internet.

VoD: Video-on-demand systems allow users to select and watch/listen to video or audio content on demand.

WAP: Wireless Application Protocol, an open and standardized protocol started in 1997, which allows access to Internet servers through specific equipment, a WAP Gateway at the carrier, and WAP browsers in customers’ wireless devices.

WCDMA: Wide-Band Code-Division Multiple Access, a technology for wideband digital radio communications of Internet, multimedia, video and other bandwidth-demanding applications.

Wireless devices: wireless appliances that we sell, including cellular handsets, wireless handheld devices and wireless broadband cards.

xDSL: A technology that allows high-speed transmission of text, audio and video, generally over standard telephone lines (“Digital Subscriber Line”).

vi

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This annual report contains statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward-looking statements in this Annual Report can be identified, in some instances, by the use of words such as “will,” “expect,” “aim,” “hope,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “believe” and similar language or the negative thereof or by the forward-looking nature of discussions of strategy, plans or intentions. These statements appear in a number of places in this Annual Report including, without limitation, certain statements made in “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors,” “Item 4. Information on the Company,” “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects” and “Item 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk” and include statements regarding our intent, belief or current expectations with respect to, among other things:

the duration and severity of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic and its impacts on our business (see “Item 3. Key Information–D. Risk Factors—Risks Relating to the Brazilian Telecommunications Industry and Us— Our business, operations and results have been, and may continue to be, adversely impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic” and “Item 4. Information on the Company—A. History and Development of the Company—Recent Developments—COVID-19 Pandemic”);
the size and growth rate of the Brazilian telecommunications market;
the accuracy of our estimated demand forecasts;
our ability to successfully execute our strategic initiatives and capital expenditure plans;
our ability to secure and maintain telecommunications spectrum and infrastructure licenses, rights-of-way and other regulatory approvals;
our ability to comply with the terms of our concession agreements;
decisions by applicable regulatory authorities to terminate, modify or renew our concession agreements or the terms thereof;
new telecommunications regulations or changes to existing regulations;
technological advancements in our industry and our ability to successfully implement them in a timely manner;
network completion and product development schedules;
the level of success of competing networks, products and services;
the possible requirement to record impairment charges relating to goodwill and long-lived assets;
our ability to consummate the transactions contemplated by the Oi Agreement or, if consummated, to successfully integrate the assets and operations contemplated thereunder or to realize expected benefits;
increased competition in the Brazilian telecommunications sector;
the cost and availability of financing;
uncertainties relating to political and economic conditions in Brazil as well as those of other emerging markets;
inflation, interest rate and exchange rate risks;
the Brazilian government’s policies regarding the telecommunications industry;
the Brazilian government’s tax policy;
the Brazilian government’s political instability;

vii

adverse decisions in ongoing litigation;
regulatory and legal developments affecting the telecommunications industry in Brazil; and
other risk factors discussed under “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors.”

We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Because of these risks and uncertainties, the forward-looking information, events and circumstances discussed in this annual report might not occur. Our actual results and performance could differ substantially from those anticipated in our forward-looking statements.

viii

PRESENTATION OF FINANCIAL INFORMATION

We maintain our books and records in reais. We prepared our consolidated financial statements included in this annual report in accordance with IFRS as issued by the IASB.

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with IFRS requires the use of certain critical accounting estimates. It also requires management to exercise its judgment in the process of applying our accounting policies.

The significant and relevant estimates and judgments applied by the Company in the preparation of these financial statements are presented in the following notes: trade accounts receivable (Note 5); income and social contribution taxes (Note 8); property, plant and equipment (Note 13), intangible assets (Note 14), provisions and contingencies (Note 20), net operating revenue (Note 25); pension plans and other post-employment benefits (Note 31) and financial instruments and risk and capital management (Note 32).

Our financial statements prepared in accordance with IFRS as of December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020 and for the years ended December 31, 2021, December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019 have also been filed with the CVM, the local securities regulator in Brazil , and made publicly available.

Our consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2021 and 2020 and for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2021 are prepared in compliance with IFRS, as issued by the IASB and also with the pronouncements, interpretations and guidance issued by the IASB and the IFRS Interpretations Committee, or the IFRIC, effective as of January 1, 2021.

We have made rounding adjustments to reach some of the figures included in this annual report. Accordingly, numerical figures shown as totals in some tables may not be an arithmetic aggregation of the figures that preceded them.

ix

PART I

Item 1. Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers

Not applicable.

Item 2. Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable

Not applicable.

Item 3. Key Information

A.

[Reserved.]

B.

Capitalization and Indebtedness

Not applicable.

C.

Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds

Not applicable.

D.

Risk Factors

This section is intended to be a summary of more detailed discussions contained elsewhere in this annual report. You should carefully read and consider the following risks, along with the other information included in this annual report. The risks described below are not the only ones we face. Additional risks that we do not presently consider material, or of which we are not currently aware, may also affect us. Our business, results of operations or financial condition could be impacted if any of these risks materialize and, as a result, the market price of our common shares and our ADSs could be affected. The risks described below are organized by risk category and these categories are not presented in order of importance. However, within each category, the risk factors are presented in descending order of importance, as determined by us as of the date of this annual report. We may change our vision about their relative importance at any time, especially if new internal or external events arise.

Summary of Risk Factors

Summary of Risks Relating to Brazil

The Brazilian government has exercised, and continues to exercise, significant influence over the Brazilian economy. This influence, as well as Brazilian political and economic conditions, could adversely affect us and the trading price of our common shares and ADSs.
Political instability may materially adversely affect the Brazilian economy, our business, and the market price of our common shares and ADSs.
Inflation and government efforts to curb inflation may contribute to economic uncertainty in Brazil, adversely affecting our business and results of operations.
Fluctuations in exchange rates may adversely affect our ability to meet liabilities denominated or linked to foreign currencies or reduce our income in foreign currency, and may have a material adverse effect on the market value of our common shares and ADSs.
Political, economic and social developments and the perception of risk in other developed and emerging countries may adversely affect the Brazilian economy, our business, and the market price of Brazilian securities, including our common shares and ADSs.

1

Any further downgrading of Brazil’s credit rating could reduce the trading price of our common shares and ADSs.

Summary of Risks Relating to the Brazilian Telecommunications Industry and Us

Information technology is key to our business and we could be subject to cybersecurity risks.
We are dependent on key personnel and the ability to hire and retain additional personnel.
We are subject to liabilities relating to third party contractors, which may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
Consolidation in the telecommunications market may increase competition in the near future and may change Brazilian market dynamics.
We face significant competition in the Brazilian market.
Our business, operations and results have been, and may continue to be, adversely impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Extensive government regulation of the telecommunications industry and our concession agreements may limit, in some cases, our flexibility in responding to market conditions, competition and changes in our cost structure or impact our fees.
Our concession may be terminated by the Brazilian government under certain circumstances.
A review of our concession agreements and/or the implementation of a new regulatory framework in Brazil could have a materially adverse effect on our operations.
Our current radiofrequency licenses may not be renewed for additional periods.
We are exposed to risks in relation to compliance with anti-corruption laws and regulations and economic sanctions programs.
We depend on key suppliers to obtain the necessary equipment and services for our business.
Certain key inputs are subject to risks related to importation, and we acquire other key inputs from a limited number of domestic suppliers, which may further limit our ability to acquire such inputs in a timely and cost-effective manner.
We make investments based on demand forecasts that may become inaccurate due to economic volatility and may result in revenues that are lower than expected.
The transactions contemplated by the Oi Agreement may not be consummated, and if they are consummated, we may be unable to successfully integrate the assets and operations contemplated thereunder or to realize expected benefits.
We face risks associated with litigation.

Summary of Risks Relating to the Common Shares and the ADSs

Holders of our ADSs may face difficulties in serving process on or enforcing judgments against us and other persons.
Holders of our ADSs are not entitled to directly attend shareholders’ meetings and may only vote through the depositary.
Holders of our ADSs or common shares might be unable to exercise preemptive rights with respect to the common shares unless there is a current registration statement in effect which covers those rights or unless an exemption from registration applies.
An exchange of ADSs for common shares risks the loss of certain foreign currency remittance and Brazilian tax advantages.

2

Holders of our common shares will be subject to, and holders of our ADSs could be subject to, Brazilian income tax on capital gains from sales of common shares or ADSs.

Certain Factors Relating to our Controlling Shareholder

Our controlling shareholder has power over the direction of our business.

Risks Relating to Brazil

The Brazilian government has exercised, and continues to exercise, significant influence over the Brazilian economy. This influence, as well as Brazilian political and economic conditions, could adversely affect us and the trading price of our common shares and ADSs.

The Brazilian federal government frequently exercises significant influence over the Brazilian economy and occasionally makes significant changes in policy and regulations. The Brazilian government’s actions to control inflation and other policies and regulations have often involved, among other measures, changes in interest rates, changes in tax policies, wage and price controls, foreign exchange controls, currency devaluations, capital controls and limits on imports. Our financial condition, as well as our business and results of operations and the market price of our common shares and ADSs, may be adversely affected by changes in government policies, especially those related to our sector, such as changes in telephone fees and competitive conditions, as well as general economic factors, including:

exchange rates and currency fluctuations;
exchange controls and restrictions on remittances abroad, (including with regards to the payment of dividends) such as those imposed in 1989 and early 1990;
growth or downturn of the Brazilian economy;
inflation;
energy policy;
interest rates and monetary policies;
liquidity of domestic capital and lending markets;
fiscal policies and changes in tax laws;
economic, political or social instability;
labor and social security policies, laws and regulations; and
other political, diplomatic, social and economic developments in or affecting Brazil.

Uncertainty over whether the Brazilian federal government will implement changes to the policies, regulations or standards affecting these or other factors in the future may affect economic performance, which may have an adverse effect on us and the trading price of our common shares and ADSs. Past economic and political instability has led to a negative perception of the Brazilian economy and higher volatility in the Brazilian securities markets, which has adversely affected us and the trading price of our common shares and ADSs.

Political instability may materially adversely affect the Brazilian economy, our business, and the market price of our common shares and ADSs.

Brazil’s political environment has historically influenced and continues to influence the performance of Brazil’s economy, as well as investor and general public confidence, resulting in economic slowdowns and an increase in the volatility of securities issued by Brazilian companies.

3

The President of Brazil has the power to determine policies and issue government measures relating to the Brazilian economy and, as a result, affect the operations and financial performance of companies, including us. We cannot predict what policies the President of Brazil will establish or whether such policies or changes in existing policies will have an adverse effect on the Brazilian economy or our business, results of operations, financial condition and the market price of our common shares and ADSs.

In addition, any difficulties the Brazilian government may face establishing a majority in Congress could result in a government impasse, political unrest and mass demonstrations and/or strikes that could materially adversely affect our operations. Uncertainties about the implementation of changes in monetary, tax and social security laws and policies, may contribute to economic instability. These uncertainties and any new measures may increase volatility in the Brazilian securities market.

Finally, 2022 is a presidential election year in Brazil. Historically, in election years, especially presidential elections, foreign investments in the country decrease and political uncertainty generates greater instability and volatility in the domestic market, which may negatively affect the trading price of the shares issued by us.

Inflation and government efforts to curb inflation may contribute to economic uncertainty in Brazil, adversely affecting our business and results of operations.

In the past, Brazil has recorded high inflation rates, which, combined with other measures taken by the Brazilian government to fight inflation and speculation on what measures would be taken, has materially adversely affected the Brazilian economy. The measures taken by the Brazilian government to control inflation have included maintaining strict monetary policies and high interest rates, which restricted the availability of credit and reduced economic growth. The COPOM often adjusts interest rates in Brazil during periods of economic uncertainty in order to achieve the inflation targets established by the Brazilian government. Inflation, the Brazilian government’s efforts to curb inflation and speculation regarding the future measures, has had material adverse effects on the Brazilian economy and contributed to economic uncertainty in Brazil, which increases volatility in the Brazilian capital markets and may materially adversely affect our business and results of operations.

According to the IPCA index, Brazilian inflation rates were 4.5%, 4.3%, 3.7% and 2.9% in 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively. In 2021, the inflation rate, as measured by the IPCA, was 10.1%, which reflects the effects of inflationary pressures on prices, such as a drought in Brazil, a global hike in commodity prices, and exchange rate depreciation.

As a result of inflationary pressures and macroeconomic instability, the Brazilian government has historically adopted monetary policies that resulted in high interest rates in Brazil. The Central Bank determines the basic interest rates generally available to the Brazilian banking system, based on the expansion or contraction of the Brazilian economy, inflation rates and other economic indicators. Throughout 2021, the COPOM raised the SELIC rate from 2.00% (its historical minimum) to 9.25% on December 8, 2021. On February 2, 2022, the COPOM raised the SELIC rate to 10.75%. Brazil may continue to experience high levels of inflation in the future and inflationary pressures may lead to the Brazilian government’s intervening in the economy and introducing policies that could harm our business and the price of our common shares and ADSs.

Currently, fixed broadband and mobile service providers, including us, use the IGP-DI to adjust their prices and television and cable service providers use the IGP-M. The IGP-DI and IGP-M are inflation indexes developed by the FGV, a private organization. Since 2006, telephone fees for fixed-line services have been indexed to the IST, as adjusted by a productivity factor, or X Factor, which is defined by ANATEL Resolution No. 507/2008.

The IST is an index composed of other domestic price indexes (including the IPCA, IGP-DI and IGP-M, among others) that is intended to reflect the telecommunications industry’s operating costs. As a result, this index serves to reduce potential discrepancies between our industry’s revenue and costs, and thus reduce the apparent adverse effects of inflation on our operations. The productivity factor, pursuant to which ANATEL is authorized to adjust fee rates, is calculated based on a compensation index established by ANATEL to incentivize operational efficiency and to share related gains in earnings from fixed-line services with customers through fee rate adjustments. The IST is calculated based on a 12-month period average. This may cause increases in our revenues above or below our costs (including salaries), with potentially adverse impacts on our profitability.

4

Inflation and government measures to combat inflation, along with speculation about governmental measures, have had significant negative effects on the Brazilian economy in the recent past, including heightened volatility in the Brazilian securities market. These policies may be incapable of preventing increases in the inflation rate. In the event of an increase in inflation, we may not be able to adjust the prices we charge our customers to offset the effects of inflation on our cost structure, which may adversely affect us.

Fluctuations in exchange rates may adversely affect our ability to meet liabilities denominated or linked to foreign currencies or reduce our income in foreign currency, and may have a material adverse effect on the market value of our common shares and ADSs.

The Brazilian currency has been historically volatile and has been devalued frequently over the past three decades. Throughout this period, the Brazilian government has implemented various economic plans and used various exchange rate policies, including sudden devaluations, periodic mini-devaluations (during which the frequency of adjustments has ranged from daily to monthly), exchange controls, dual exchange rate markets and a floating exchange rate system. Although long-term depreciation of the real is generally linked to the rate of inflation in Brazil, depreciation of the real occurring over shorter periods has resulted in significant variations in the exchange rate between the real, the U.S. dollar and other currencies. The exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the Brazilian real has experienced significant fluctuations in recent years. In 2016, the real appreciated 16.5% against the U.S. dollar. In 2017, the real depreciated 1.5% against the U.S. dollar, followed by another depreciation of 17.1% in 2018, 4.0% in 2019 and 22.4% in 2020. The real/U.S. dollar exchange rate reported by the Central Bank was R$5.581 per US$1.00 as of December 31, 2021, which reflected a 7.4% depreciation in the real against the U.S. dollar during 2021, primarily due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Brazilian economy and other sources of political, social and economic instability in Brazil. As of February 23, 2022, the real/U.S. dollar exchange rate reported by the Central Bank was R$5.024 per US$1.00. There can be no assurance that the real will not again depreciate against the U.S. dollar or other currencies in the future.

As of December 31, 2021, none of our total indebtedness of R$16.9 billion was denominated in foreign currency. Approximately 10.7% of our operating costs and expenses are payable or linked to payment by us in U.S. dollars or Euros. By contrast, 99.8% of our revenue is generated in reais, except income derived from hedging transactions, international long-distance interconnection fees and services to customers outside of Brazil.

To the extent that the value of the real decreases relative to the U.S. dollar or the Euro, our commitments payable or linked to payment by us in foreign currencies become more expensive. Although our accounts receivable denominated in foreign currencies would also appreciate, the net effect could adversely affect our revenue and expenses. In addition, the IST inflation index does not adequately reflect the true effect of exchange rate fluctuations. Thus, our revenue, when translated to U.S. dollars, does not adequately reflect the true effect of exchange rate fluctuations, which may affect our results of operations.

We use derivative instruments to limit our exposure to exchange rate risk. Since September 1999, we have hedged all of our foreign currency-denominated bank debt using swaps and other derivative instruments. Since May 2010, the company began using net balance coverage, which is the hedging of net positions in foreign exchange exposures, or assets (issued invoices) minus liabilities (received invoices) for foreign exchange exposures, substantially reducing our risk to fluctuations in exchange rates. We could still continue to face exchange rate exposure with respect to our planned capital expenditures however, as a small part of our planned capital expenditures are denominated or indexed in foreign currencies (mostly U.S. dollars). We systematically monitor the amounts and time of exposure to exchange rate fluctuations and may hedge positions when deemed appropriate.

Political, economic and social developments and the perception of risk in other developed and emerging countries may adversely affect the Brazilian economy, our business, and the market price of Brazilian securities, including our common shares and ADSs.

The market for securities issued by Brazilian companies may be influenced, to varying degrees, by economic conditions in both developing and developed economies. The reaction of investors to developments in other countries may have an adverse impact on the market value of securities of Brazilian companies. The prices of shares traded on the B3, for example, have historically been sensitive to fluctuations in interest rates in the United States, as well as variations of the main U.S. stock exchanges. Additionally, crises in other emerging countries or the economic policies of other countries may reduce investor demand for securities of Brazilian companies, including our common shares and ADSs. Any of the foregoing developments may adversely affect the market value of our common shares and ADSs and hinder our ability to access the capital markets and finance our operations in the future on acceptable terms and costs, or at all.

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To the extent that economic problems in emerging market countries or elsewhere adversely affect Brazil, our business and the market value of our common shares and ADSs could be adversely affected. Furthermore, we cannot assure you that, in the event of adverse developments in emerging market economies, the international capital markets will remain open to Brazilian companies or that the resulting interest rates in such markets will be advantageous to us. Decreased foreign investment in Brazil may negatively affect growth and liquidity in the Brazilian economy, which in turn may have a negative impact on our business. Disruption or volatility in the global financial markets could further increase negative effects on the financial and economic environment in Brazil, which could have a material adverse effect on us.

Any further downgrading of Brazil’s credit rating could reduce the trading price of our common shares and ADSs.

We may be harmed by investors’ perceptions of risks related to Brazil’s sovereign debt credit rating. Rating agencies regularly evaluate Brazil and its sovereign ratings, which are based on a number of factors including macroeconomic trends, fiscal and budgetary conditions, indebtedness metrics and the perspective of changes in any of these factors.

Brazil was downgraded to non-investment grade status by S&P in September 2015, by Fitch Ratings in December 2015, by Moody’s in February 2016 . Brazil was further downgraded by S&P in February 2016 and January 2018 and by Fitch in May 2016 and February 2018. Brazil’s sovereign rating is currently rated by the three major risk rating agencies as follows: BB- by S&P and Fitch Ratings and Ba2 by Moody’s.

Brazil’s sovereign credit rating is currently rated below investment grade by the three main credit rating agencies. Consequently, the prices of securities issued by Brazilian companies have been negatively affected. A reversal of the current recovery of the Brazilian economic activity, instability in the political environment, changes in fiscal austerity guidelines, among other factors, could lead to a revision of the agencies' outlooks, which could be followed by further ratings downgrades. Any further downgrade of Brazil’s sovereign credit ratings could heighten investors’ perception of risk and, as a result, cause the market price of our common shares and ADSs to decline.

Risks Relating to the Brazilian Telecommunications Industry and Us

Information technology is key to our business and we could be subject to cybersecurity risks.

The risks derived from cybersecurity are among our most relevant risks. Despite advances in the modernization of the network and the replacement of legacy systems, we operate in an environment increasingly prone to cyber-threats. Therefore, it is necessary to continue to identify and remedy any technical vulnerabilities and weaknesses in our operating processes, as well as to strengthen our capabilities to detect and react to incidents. This includes the need to strengthen security controls in the supply chain (for example, by focusing on the security measures adopted by our partners and other third parties), as well as to ensure the security of the services in the cloud.

Telecommunications companies worldwide face continuously increasing cybersecurity threats as businesses have become increasingly more digital and dependent on telecommunications and computer networks and cloud computing technologies. Cybersecurity threats may include gaining unauthorized access to our systems or propagating computer viruses or malicious software to misappropriate sensitive information like customer data, corrupt our data or disrupt our operations. Unauthorized access may also be gained through traditional means such as the theft of laptop computers, data devices and mobile phones. Further, our employees or other persons may have unauthorized or authorized access to our systems and leak data and/or take actions that affect our networks or otherwise adversely affect us or our ability to adequately process internal information.

We manage these risks through a number of technical and organizational measures, which are part of our digital security strategy, including, access control measures, backup systems, log review of critical systems, vulnerabilities checks, network segregation measures and protective systems such as firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, virus scanners and other physical and logical security measures. However, the application of these measures cannot guarantee the mitigation of all risks.

For more information, see “Item 4. Information on the Company—B. Business Overview—Technology—Network Security.”

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We are dependent on key personnel and the ability to hire and retain additional personnel.

We believe that our success will depend on the continued services of our senior management team and other key personnel. Our management team is comprised of highly qualified professionals, with extensive experience in the telecommunications industry. The loss of the services of any of our senior management team or other key employees could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. We also depend on the ability of our senior management and key personnel to work effectively as a team.

Our future success also depends on our ability to identify, attract, hire, train, retain and motivate highly skilled technical, managerial, sales and marketing personnel. Competition for such personnel is intense, and we cannot guarantee that we will successfully attract, assimilate or retain a sufficient number of qualified personnel. Failure to retain and attract the necessary technical, managerial, sales and marketing and administrative personnel could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are subject to liabilities relating to third party contractors, which may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

We are exposed to contingent liabilities resulting from our contracting structure, which includes third-party service providers. Such potential liabilities may involve labor claims by third-party providers that are treated as direct employees as well as joint liability claims relating to wage or overtime pay complaints and workplace injury claims. If a significant portion of these contingent liabilities is decided against us and for which we have not made adequate provisions, our financial condition and results of operation may be adversely affected.

Furthermore, if the contracting of third party service are considered to involve the main activities of the company, it may be characterized as direct employment, which would significantly increase our costs and as a result, we may be subject to administrative proceedings by the relevant labor regulators and may be required to pay fines to the third-party service providers.

Consolidation in the telecommunications market may increase competition in the near future and may change Brazilian market dynamics.

Mergers and acquisitions may change market dynamics, create competitive pressures, force small competitors to find partners and impact our financial condition; and may require us to adjust our operations, marketing strategies (including promotions), and product portfolio.

The entry of a new market participant with significant financial resources or potential changes in strategy by existing telecommunications service providers can change the competitive environment in the Brazilian market. We may be unable to keep pace with these changes, which could affect our ability to compete effectively and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Additional joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions among telecommunications service providers are possible in the future. If such consolidation occurs, it may result in increased competition within our market. We may be unable to adequately respond to pricing pressures resulting from consolidation in our market, adversely affecting our business, financial condition and results of operations. We may also consider engaging in merger or acquisition activity in response to changes in the competitive environment, which could divert resources away from other aspects of our business.

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We face significant competition in the Brazilian market.

The relative competitive stability in the Brazilian telecommunications sector observed in 2020 was maintained in 2021. Telecommunications operators continued to focus on improving their base of accesses by attracting customers to higher-value products. On the mobile side of the business, market participants mostly sought to sell hybrid plans (planos controle) and pure postpaid plans to consumers to increase overall ARPUs and profitability. On the fixed-line side of the business, we have seen competition both from large and small players to capture customers for fiber connectivity or upgrades for higher internet speeds, mostly driven by increased demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased supply of high-quality broadband given the expansion in the rollout of fiber optic networks. In addition, customers are demanding higher quality services and greater mobile data availability, which require higher investments in the development, modernization, expansion and continuous improvement of the quality of our services and the experience of our customers.

As a result, we have continued faced significant competition, mainly driven by the following factors: (1) commercial and pricing pressures from new portfolios launched by competitors; (2) increased 4G, 4.5G and fiber optic network coverage and improved service quality by our competitors; and (3) low-cost alternative services, such as voice and text services provided over IPs, and IPTV/VoD services, which may affect our competitive position in the market. We continuously monitor market conditions to anticipate future competitive challenges and opportunities and analyze how to address them. Nevertheless, our operational results, market position, competitiveness in the market and margins may be adversely affected if we are unable to keep the same pace as our competitors.

Our business, operations and results have been, and may continue to be, adversely impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since December 2019, SARS-CoV-2, a novel strain of coronavirus referred to as COVID-19, has spread throughout the world. On January 31, 2020, the WHO announced that COVID-19 was a global health emergency and on March 3, 2020, the World Health Organization categorized COVID-19 as a pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in numerous deaths and the imposition of local, municipal and national governmental “shelter-in-place” and other public health measures, border closures and other travel restrictions, causing unprecedented economic disruption in much of the world. In Brazil, states and municipalities, including those in which we operate, adopted directives set by the Brazilian Ministry of Health (Ministério da Saúde), and implemented measures to control the propagation of the disease, such as travel restrictions and measures to encourage social distancing, which resulted in the shutdown of restaurants, hotels, shopping centers, places of public congregation, parks and other public spaces. Beginning in March 2021, new government regulations were imposed across several Brazilian cities requiring social distancing measures and other measures to address the pandemic and COVID-19-related deaths continued to increase, which put significant pressure on the Brazilian national health system. Due to shortages and delays, the immunization of the Brazilian population is still underway, with approximately 65% of the population having been fully immunized as of December 2021. Uncertainty about the effectiveness of vaccines and the emergence of new strains or mutations of the virus that render vaccination ineffective or inefficient can make it difficult or impossible for the government to contain the pandemic, which could contribute to the implementation of new restrictions, thereby negatively affecting our business and operations.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brazilian government determined that the telecom sector is an essential service, which allowed us to continue our field maintenance activities without violating restrictions on movement that were generally imposed to address the pandemic. However, in accordance with recommendations from authorities, we transitioned a substantial majority of our employees to hybrid or work-from-home.

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In Brazil generally and in particular regions where we have a significant employee presence, facilities or critical operations, the outbreak of COVID-19 impacted our ability to manage day-to-day operations and service our customers and resulted in, among other things, loss of revenue, although we have also experienced a decrease in our costs of operations due to lower variable costs such as sales commissioning, call centers, billing and advertising. Moreover, we implemented corporate and personal travel restrictions for employees and vendors, cancelled events and enabled work-from-home for many employees by equipping them to safely support customers remotely. We also implemented additional safety measures for our retail stores and field operations teams. Additionally, at certain points of the pandemic, we were required to temporarily close or reduce operations at some of our retail locations, facilities and customer call centers, although these locations have been since reopened, oftentimes with reduced hours of operation or customer capacity limitations, as stay-at-home orders began to ease in São Paulo and other Brazilian cities. Although stay-at-home orders have eased in the primary markets in which we operate, we may be required to temporarily close or reduce operations at more of or all of our retail locations, facilities or call centers again if there is a resurgence of COVID-19 or its variants in the markets in which we operate. The foregoing effects, and other effects of COVID-19, may continue for an unknown period of time.

Our business has been, and may continue to be, negatively impacted by the effects of, or precautions taken to avoid exposure to, COVID-19, such as reduced travel or recommendations or mandates from governmental authorities to avoid large gatherings or to self-quarantine, and by the resulting disruptions to economic conditions and financial markets. Such impacts include, but are not limited to:

Reduced sales of certain of our products and services, such as handset sales and upsells made through our retail stores and upsells through our call centers and other channels, as a result of public health measures;
Disruptions to our third-party providers, including those who provide many of our information technology, call center functions, certain accounting functions and other critical vendor services;
Reduced workforces caused by, among other things, the temporary inability of the workforce to work due to illness, quarantine, or government mandates, or temporary unwillingness to work due to health concerns;
Reduced customer demand or customer payment of accounts receivables as a result of adverse economic conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic;
Reduced availability of certain equipment in the supply chain due to increased demand; and
Increases in provisions for bad debt as a result of increased unemployment and the inability of certain customers to pay bills and late fees as a result of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Potential future impacts include, but are not limited to:

Service disruptions or reduced bandwidth for copper-based broadband customers due to significant short-term increases in bandwidth usage due to individuals working from home and/or significantly higher expenses attributable to infrastructure investments required to meet such higher network utilization trends;
Imposition of governmental requirements preventing our termination services as a result of non-payment, thus encouraging customer defaults on invoices, resulting in a decline in our cash flows from operations and an increase in our expected losses on trade receivables;
Increased supply chain risks such as increased scrutiny or embargoing of goods produced in infected areas;
Increased health insurance and labor-related costs arising from illness, quarantine and the implementation of social distancing and work-from-home measures;
Reduced employee productivity and a negative impact on the execution of our business plans and operations as employees must balance working remotely from home with personal responsibilities, such as child care and education;
Increased risk of phishing and other cybersecurity attacks, and increased risk of unauthorized dissemination of sensitive personal information or proprietary or confidential information about us, our customers or other third parties as a result of employees or third-party vendors’ employees working remotely; and

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In the event of continued restrictions on certain activities, or a natural disaster, power outage, connectivity issue or other event that impacts our employees’ ability to work remotely, it may be difficult or, in certain cases, impossible, for us to continue to support our customers’ needs and respond to inquiries through call center operations or to perform necessary or routine repairs, maintenance and installation activities, which could adversely affect our operations and sales.

The foregoing impacts, and other impacts of COVID-19 discussed elsewhere in these risk factors, are broadly consistent with those generally affecting the economic, financial, regulatory and political conditions in Brazil and elsewhere in the world, and are generally applicable to the industries and markets in which the Company and its subsidiaries operate. These impacts could materially increase our costs, negatively impact our consumer and business sales and damage the Company’s financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and liquidity position, possibly to a significant degree.

We cannot predict the full effect of the pandemic on our business or on the Brazilian economy. Federal, state and municipal governments in Brazil may announce further restrictions on the general population and we cannot predict what effect this will have on our operations and sales in the long term. We cannot predict the duration of the pandemic, the effectiveness of governmental or other measures taken to attempt to curb the pandemic, or the duration of any such measures. In addition, following the pandemic and the termination of any such governmental restrictions, the needs and preferences of our customers may have been altered. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly evolving, and the continuation or a future resurgence of the pandemic could precipitate or aggravate the other risk factors that we face, which in turn could further materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations and profitability, including in ways that are not currently known to us or that we do not currently consider to present significant risks. The extent of the impact of the COVID-19 on our operational and financial performance in the longer term will depend on future developments, including the duration of the outbreak and related travel advisories and restrictions and the impact of the COVID-19 on overall demand for travel, all of which are highly uncertain and beyond our control. We will continue to actively monitor the situation and may take further actions that alter our business operations as may be required by federal, state or local authorities, or that we determine are in the best interests of our employees, clients, suppliers and shareholders.

For more information about specific measures that we have adopted and potential impacts on our business operations, see “Item 4. Information on the Company—A. History and Development of the Company—Recent Developments—COVID-19 Pandemic” and “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects— A. Operating Results—Overview—Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

Extensive government regulation of the telecommunications industry and our concession agreements may limit, in some cases, our flexibility in responding to market conditions, competition and changes in our cost structure or impact our fees.

Our business is subject to extensive regulation, including any regulatory changes that may occur during the terms of our concession agreements and our authorizations to provide telecommunication services in Brazil. ANATEL, the main telecommunications industry regulator in the country, regulates, among other things:

industry policies and regulations;
licensing (including licensing of spectrum and bidding processes);
fees and tariffs;
competition incentives and restrictions (including our ability to grow by acquiring other telecommunications businesses);
service, technical and quality standards;
consumer rights;
penalties and other sanctions;
interconnection and settlement arrangements; and
universal service obligations.

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The Brazilian telecommunications regulatory framework is continuously evolving. The interpretation and enforcement of regulations, the assessment of compliance with regulations and the flexibility of regulatory authorities are all marked by uncertainty. We operate under authorizations and a concession from the Brazilian government, and our ability to maintain these authorizations and concessions is a precondition to our success. However, because of the changing nature of our regulatory framework, we cannot provide assurances that ANATEL will not adversely modify the terms of our authorizations and/or licenses. According to our operating authorizations and licenses, we must meet specific requirements and maintain minimum quality, coverage and service standards. Our failure to comply with such requirements may result in the imposition of fines, penalties and/or other regulatory responses, including the termination of our operating authorizations and concession. Any partial or total termination of any of our operating authorizations and licenses or our concession would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, revenues, results of operations and prospects.

In recent years, ANATEL has been reviewing and introducing regulatory changes, especially regarding asymmetric competition measures and interconnection fees charged among local providers of telecommunications services. Asymmetric competition measures can include regulations intended to rebalance markets in which a market participant has distinct market power over other competitors. The adoption of disproportionately asymmetric measures could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, revenues, results of operations and prospects.

With respect to interconnection fees, these are an important part of our revenue and cost bases. Such fees are charged by telecommunications service providers to each other in order to allow interconnected use of each other’s networks. To the extent that changes to the rules governing interconnection fees reduce the amount of fees we can receive, or our ability to collect such fees, our businesses, financial conditions, revenues, results of operations and prospects could be materially adversely affected.

Therefore, our business, results of operations, revenues and financial conditions could be negatively affected by the actions of the Brazilian authorities, including, in particular, the following:

the introduction of new or stricter operational and/or service requirements;
the granting of operating licenses in our areas;
limitations on interconnection fees we may charge to other telecommunications service providers;
imposition of significant fines or penalties regarding failures to comply with regulatory obligations;
delays in the granting of, or the failure to grant, approvals for rate increases; and
antitrust limitations imposed by ANATEL and CADE.

Our concession may be terminated by the Brazilian government under certain circumstances.

We operate our fixed-line business in the state of São Paulo under a concession granted by the Brazilian government. According to the terms of this concession, we are obligated to meet certain universal service requirements and to maintain minimum quality and service standards. For example, ANATEL requires that we satisfy certain conditions with respect to, among other things, the expansion of our network to: (i) provide public pay-phone services under specific conditions, despite significant reductions in requirements by Decree No. 9,619/2018; (ii) provide private individual telephone service for locations with a population of over 300 persons, upon request by any consumer; and (iii) meet certain service quality targets (as reviewed by Resolution No. 717/2019, which remains under implementation). Our ability to satisfy these terms and conditions may be affected by factors beyond our control, and our failure to comply with the requirements of this concession may result in the imposition of fines of up to R$50 million per incident and/or other government sanctions, including the imposition of a preemptive ban on marketing our services or the termination of our concession. The partial or total termination of our concession or other authorizations would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

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Furthermore, our concession agreements provide that all assets owned by us, and which are indispensable to the provision of the services described in such agreements, are considered “reversible assets” (bens reversíveis) and are deemed to be part of the concession assets, subject to reimbursement or amortization as compensation for these assets. In 2021, with the publication of ANATEL Resolution No. 744, or the Public STFC Services Continuity Regulation (Regulamento de Continuidade da Prestação do Serviço Telefônico Fixo Comutado Destinado ao Uso do Público em Geral (STFC) em Regime Público), or the Continuity Regulation, ANATEL established that, upon the end of an STFC concession contract, reversible assets used for several services, including our public regime STFC services, would be subject to a right-of-use assignment, under fair and reasonable economic conditions, by us and the new service provider or the Brazilian government. In turn, the possession of reversible assets that are effectively and exclusively used to ensure the continuity of public regime STFC services would be reverted to the granting governmental authority if the service continues to be provided (either by the Brazilian government or by the new concessionaire service provider). Moreover, according to ANATEL's interpretations of current regulations, reversible assets will not be available to creditors in the event of insolvency, bankruptcy or similar events, although there are differing interpretations, even among government agencies, and ongoing discussions regarding the treatment of reversible assets as a result of the passage of Law No. 13,879/2019, or the New General Telecommunications Law, on October 4, 2019. See “—A review of our concession agreements and/or the new telecommunications regulatory framework in Brazil could have a materially adverse effect on our operations.”

A review of our concession agreements and/or the new telecommunications regulatory framework in Brazil could have a materially adverse effect on our operations.

The expiration date of our fixed-line concession agreements in São Paulo is December 31, 2025. These agreements contain a provision permitting ANATEL to review the concession agreements every five years and include revisions to terms and conditions that relate to network expansion, modernization and quality of service targets in response to changes in technology, competition in the marketplace and domestic and international economic conditions.

On June 24, 2014, ANATEL opened a public review and comment period for the revision of the terms of fixed-line concession agreements with respect to the 2016-2020 period. However, when the agency released the new version of the agreements in June 2017, operators disagreed with the inclusion by ANATEL of certain provisions and decided against executing new agreements with the agency. As a result, the agreements with respect to the 2011-2015 period remain in force. In January 2021, although new concession contracts had not yet been signed, the Brazilian government published Decree No. 10,610/2021, or PGMU V, which approves the revision of PGMU targets. PGMU V establishes that the remaining balance of the previous PGMUs must be used in the construction of backbone networks with optic fiber technology.These targets have been criticized by several of the local operators.

In addition, on October 4, 2019, the New General Telecommunications Law was enacted. This law revises the telecommunications regulatory framework by amending the General Telecommunication Law and significantly impacts this industry. The law permits fixed-line concession operators to migrate from a concession regime (in which the underlying assets must be reverted to the government at the end of the concession) to an authorization regime, although further rulemaking is underway to fully implement the mandate and permit operators to so migrate. ANATEL will be responsible for estimating, by specific regulation, the economic value of the adaptation of concession agreements to authorizations. That value will be converted into 10-year investment projects, which have not yet detailed by ANATEL, and a choice will be offered to concessionaires whether to migrate or not depending on the conditions set by ANATEL.For more information about the New General Telecommunications Law, see “Item 4. Information on the Company—B. Business Overview—Regulation of the Brazilian Telecommunications Industry—Other regulatory matters—Updated regulatory framework.

Any additional changes to laws, rules or regulations could have a material adverse effect on our operations and financial condition. Changes to our concession agreements or further changes to the current regulatory framework may entail the imposition of new requirements, including obligations to make specific investments and/or capital expenditures. ANATEL may also impose new service targets on us with values that we are not able to predict.

Our current radiofrequency licenses may not be renewed for additional periods.

Generally, current spectrum authorizations are valid for 15 years. Although the New General Telecommunications Law admits successive spectrum renewals, we cannot guarantee that our existing licenses will be renewed. According to the New General Telecommunications Law and Decree No. 10,402/2020, ANATEL may set specific conditions for such renewals, such as mandatory “refarming” processes in certain spectrum bands, or refuse renewal requests altogether. A refarming process can reduce the amount of spectrum available to each operator, depending on the configuration of the new blocks.

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Our current 850 MHz authorizations will expire between 2022 and 2028. If legal and regulatory requirements are met, ANATEL has agreed to the current authorizations for the use of radio frequencies in bands A and B, on a primary basis, until November 29, 2028. However, the specific conditions for renewal, including those related to economic valuation criteria and related obligations, were challenged by the affected service providers, including us. After ANATEL rejected complaints presented by the providers, a final disposition of the matter is still pending and will require a decision by the Brazilian Federal Court of Accounts (Tribunal de Contas da União), or the TCU. If there is no such renewal in 2028, we would have to compete for new licenses in a spectrum auction. In addition, the coverage of our mobile services would be significantly affected by a loss of or failure to renew spectrum licenses. Further, in certain regions, our services may become unavailable, particular in the event of a failure to renew or obtain all licenses for such regions. In the event of any of the foregoing circumstances, our business, financial condition, revenues, results of operations and prospects could be materially adversely affected.

We are exposed to risks in relation to compliance with anti-corruption laws and regulations and economic sanctions programs.

We are required to comply with anti-corruption laws and regulations in Brazil and in jurisdictions where our securities traded. In particular, we are subject, in Brazil, to Law No. 12,846/2013, and in the United States, to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977. Additionally, our operations may be subject to, or otherwise affected by, economic sanctions programs and other forms of trade restrictions (hereinafter referred to as sanctions), including those administered by the United States, including the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Although we have internal policies and procedures designed to ensure compliance with such anti-corruption laws and sanctions regulations (to the extent applicable), there can be no assurance that such policies and procedures will be sufficient or that our employees, directors, officers, partners, agents and service providers will not take actions in violation of our policies and procedures (or, otherwise in violation of the relevant anti-corruption and sanctions laws and regulations) for which we, our subsidiaries or such employees, directors, officers, partners, agents and service providers may be ultimately responsible. Violations of such laws and regulations could lead to sanctions, reputational harm, or other legal consequences that could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We depend on key suppliers to obtain the necessary equipment and services for our business.

We depend on certain key suppliers of equipment and services, especially telecommunications network equipment and handsets, for the execution and development of our business. These suppliers may delay delivery, alter prices and limit supply as a result of problems related to their own businesses, over which we have no control. If these suppliers are not able to deliver equipment and services regularly, we may face problems with the continuity of our business activities, which may have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

Certain key inputs are subject to risks related to importation, and we acquire other key inputs from a limited number of domestic suppliers, which may further limit our ability to acquire such inputs in a timely and cost-effe