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Brazil - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Telecom investment will remain high thanks to competition, which is intense in Brazil. This report covers trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, broadband, pay TV, and converging media. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures, and statistics;
  • Government policies and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU;
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Broadband (DSL, cable TV, WiMAX, BPL, mobile broadband, etc);
  • Convergence and pay TV market;
  • Scenario forecasts for the fixed-line, mobile, and broadband markets.


Brazil is the largest market in Latin America and the region’s leading investment destination for international operators and suppliers.  

With the country’s economic recovery well under way, the spending power of Brazilian consumers is on the rise. Demand should remain strong for telecom services, especially broadband and mobile telephony. Brazil’s regulator Anatel has an ambitious agenda to overhaul the country’s regulatory framework.  

Brazil’s fixed-line teledensity is slightly higher than average for Latin America, which is in line with other indicators such as the country’s GDP per capita, also slightly higher than the regional average. As in the rest of the world, fixed-mobile substitution is a prominent phenomenon in Brazil, with an increasing proportion of the population using mobile rather than conventional telephones.  

Brazil is home to almost one third of all mobile subscribers in Latin America. The country’s mobile penetration is about average for the region, but varies considerably from state to state. Number portability is helping to increase competition in an already highly competitive market.  

Demand for broadband in Brazil is expected to soar. Broadband operators have been struggling to keep up, and there have been problems of system overload. The government has plans to spread broadband across the vast country in one of the world’s largest infrastructure projects. Two major factors have inhibited the growth of broadband in Brazil: shortage of fixed-line infrastructure, and broadband prices, which are too high for the Brazilian socio-economic environment. On the other hand, the growth of mobile broadband in Brazil has been nothing short of spectacular, attracting more than four million subscribers.  

Convergence is popular in Brazil, with numerous operators advertising triple play solutions that include broadband, telephony, and pay TV. Brazilian companies have generally approached triple play by adding VoIP to pay TV and broadband. Several operators also offer services based on fixed-mobile convergence. A draft bill is in the pipeline to allow IPTV services, which are prohibited by Brazilian telecom regulations.  

Markets highlights:

  • Brazil’s regulator Anatel has an ambitious agenda to overhaul the country’s regulatory framework. The General Plan for Updating Telecom Regulations, known as PGR, includes lists of actions to be carried out in the short, medium, or long term. Among others, there are plans to develop Open Networks in the country through local loop unbundling and through structural or functional separation regulations.
  • The regulator is planning several public consultations and new spectrum auctions for 2010, involving, among others, frequencies relinquished by Oi (Band A), spectrum never allocated (Bands D and E), the last remaining 3G licence (Band H), spectrum in lower frequencies such as 450MHz-470MHz, and spectrum for mobile operators in the 2.5GHz band.
  • Brazil has been the regional leader in terms of smart energy technologies. Several power companies have installed electronic meters - albeit with only the same functionalities as electromagnetic meters: the measuring of active energy. The shift to electronic meters was prompted by the fact that they had become cheaper than conventional meters. The main purpose for the installation was to reduce energy theft.
  • The demand for broadband and the success of 3G in Brazil augurs well for Long-term Evolution (LTE), also known as 4G mobile. The 2.5GHz frequency band to be auctioned in 2010 could be used for LTE. Telefónica is conducting LTE field tests in Brazil, and the country’s four major mobile operators (Vivo, Claro, TIM Brasil, and Oi) may be ready to launch LTE services commercially by end-2012.
  •  

Brazil - key telecom parameters - 2008-2009
Sector | 2008 | 2009 (e) |
Internet |   |   |   |
Internet users (million) | 50.2 | 60.0 |
Penetration rate | 28.7% | 30.7% |
Annual change | 12% | 20% |
Broadband |   |   |   |
Total subscribers (million) | 10.01 | 11.45 |
Penetration rate | 5.2% | 5.9% |
Annual change | 30% | 14% |
Fixed-lines in service |   |   |   |
Total subscribers (million) | 41.02 | 41.5 |
Penetration rate | 21.2% | 21.2% |
Annual change | 4.4% | 1.2% |
Mobile telephony subscribers |   |   |   |
Total subscribers (million) | 150.64 | 173.20 |
Penetration rate | 78.0% | 88.5% |
Annual change | 25% | 15% |
| (Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)

  For those needing an objective and high-level strategic analysis on Brazil, this report is essential reading and gives further information on:Regulatory framework and Anatel’s General Plan for Updating Telecom Regulations, known as PGR.
  • Mobile market outlook and developments, including planned spectrum awards.
  • The success of 3G and mobile broadband in Brazil.
  • Broadband market trends and plans to spread broadband across the vast country.
  • The outlook of WiMAX and LTE in Brazil.
  • How different scenarios are likely to affect the fixed-line, mobile, and broadband markets in the ten years to 2020.
  •   Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

    1. Key Statistics
    1.1 Country overview
    1.2 General outlook
    2. Telecommunications Market
    2.1 Overview of Brazil’s telecom market
    2.2 Telecom market trends
    3. Regulatory Environment
    3.1 History
    3.2 Regulatory developments
    3.3 General Plan for Updating Telecom Regulations
    3.4 Regulatory authority
    3.4.1 Anatel
    3.5 Privatisation of Telebrás
    3.6 Mirror companies
    3.7 Telecom sector liberalisation in Brazil
    3.8 Universalisation goals
    3.9 Government telecom funds (Fust, Fistel, and Funttel)
    3.10 Foreign investment
    3.11 Number portability
    3.12 Access
    3.13 Functional and structural separation
    3.14 Interconnection
    3.15 Tariffs
    3.16 Per-minute billing system
    3.17 Special Class Individual Access (AICE)
    3.18 Fixed-line contract renewal - January 2006
    3.19 Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO)
    4. Fixed Network Market
    4.1 Overview of fixed network market
    4.1.1 Privatisation and liberalisation
    4.2 Oi (Telemar)
    4.2.1 Oi - company structure
    4.2.2 Oi - network and services
    4.2.3 Oi - acquisitions and subsidiaries
    4.2.4 Oi - Brasil Telecom merger
    4.2.5 Brasil Telecom (historical)
    4.3 Telesp
    4.4 Embratel
    4.4.1 Telmex do Brasil
    4.4.2 Net Serviços de Comunicação
    4.5 GVT
    4.5.1 Vivendi acquires GVT
    4.6 Intelig Telecom
    4.6.1 TIM Brasil acquires Intelig
    4.7 TIM Brasil
    4.8 Algar Telecom (previously CTBC Telecom)
    4.9 Sercomtel
    5. Telecommunications Infrastructure
    5.1 National telecom network
    5.1.1 Fixed-line statistics
    5.1.2 Public payphones
    5.2 International infrastructure
    5.2.1 Submarine cable networks
    5.2.2 Satellite networks
    5.3 Infrastructure developments
    5.3.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
    5.3.2 IP and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
    5.3.3 Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) networks
    6. Internet Market
    6.1 Overview
    6.1.1 Internet statistics
    6.2 Brazil’s ISP market
    6.2.1 Historical highlights
    6.2.2 Universo Online (UOL)
    6.2.3 Internet Group (iG, iBest, and BrTurbo)
    6.2.4 Terra
    7. Broadband Market
    7.1 Overview
    7.1.1 Broadband statistics
    7.1.2 Broadband outlook
    7.1.3 Digital inclusion and GESAC
    7.2 Cable modems
    7.2.1 Net Vírtua (Net Serviços de Comunicação)
    7.3 ADSL
    7.3.1 Telesp (Speedy)
    7.3.2 Oi (Velox)
    7.3.3 GVT (Turbonet)
    7.4 Mobile broadband
    7.5 Wireless broadband
    7.5.1 WiFi
    7.5.2 WiMAX
    7.6 Internet via satellite
    7.7 Broadband Powerline (BPL)
    7.8 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
    8. Convergence
    8.1 Overview of media convergence
    8.2 Fixed-mobile convergence
    8.3 Triple play models
    8.4 Regulatory issues
    8.5 Pay TV
    8.5.1 Pay TV statistics
    8.5.2 Foreign ownership regulations
    8.5.3 Cable TV
    8.5.4 Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Systems (MMDS)
    8.5.5 Satellite TV
    8.5.6 Major pay TV players
    8.5.7 Broadband TV (IPTV)
    8.6 Digital Terrestrial TV
    8.7 Digital economy in Brazil
    8.7.1 E-Commerce
    8.7.2 E-Government
    8.7.3 E-Health
    8.7.4 E-Learning
    8.7.5 Smart meters/smart grids
    9. Mobile Communications
    9.1 Overview of Brazil’s mobile market
    9.1.1 Mobile statistics
    9.2 Regulatory issues
    9.2.1 Regulatory background
    9.2.2 Privatisation of Telebrás
    9.2.3 Serviço Móvel Pessoal (SMP)
    9.2.4 Carrier preselection
    9.2.5 Number Portability (NP)
    9.2.6 Mobile consumer rights protection
    9.2.7 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
    9.3 Mobile technologies
    9.3.1 Analogue
    9.3.2 Second generation (2G) mobile
    9.3.3 Third generation (3G) mobile
    9.3.4 Long-term evolution (LTE)
    9.4 Major mobile operators
    9.4.1 Overview of operators
    9.4.2 Vivo
    9.4.3 Claro
    9.4.4 TIM Brasil
    9.4.5 Oi
    9.4.6 Nextel Brasil
    9.4.7 Algar/CTBC Telecom
    9.4.8 Sercomtel Celular
    9.4.9 Unicel/Aeiou
    9.5 Mobile voice services
    9.5.1 Prepaid cards
    9.5.2 Satellite mobile
    9.6 Mobile data services
    9.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
    9.6.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
    9.6.3 Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)
    9.6.4 Push-to-Talk (PTT)
    9.6.5 Mobile TV
    9.7 Mobile content and applications
    9.7.1 Location-Based Services (LBS)
    9.7.2 Gaming
    10. Forecasts
    10.1 Overview
    10.2 Forecasts - fixed-line market - 2010; 2015; 2020
    10.2.1 Scenario 1 - higher fixed line growth
    10.2.2 Scenario 2 - lower fixed-line growth
    10.3 Forecasts - fixed broadband market - 2010; 2015; 2020
    10.3.1 Scenario 1 - higher broadband growth
    10.3.2 Scenario 2 - lower broadband growth
    10.4 Forecasts - mobile market - 2010; 2015; 2020
    10.4.1 Scenario 1 - higher mobile market growth
    10.4.2 Scenario 2 - lower mobile market growth
    11. Glossary of Abbreviations
    Table 1 - Country statistics - 2009
    Table 2 - Telephone network statistics - 2009
    Table 3 - Internet user statistics - 2009
    Table 4 - Broadband statistics - 2009
    Table 5 - Mobile statistics - 2009
    Table 6 - National telecommunications authority
    Table 7 - Evolution of GDP in Brazil - 2000 - 2010
    Table 8 - Operators’ market share of fixed lines in service - 2000-2009
    Table 9 - Oi fixed lines in service and digitisation rate - 1998-2009
    Table 10 - Brasil Telecom fixed lines in service - 1998-2008 (historical)
    Table 11 - Telesp fixed lines in service and digitisation rate - 1999-2009
    Table 12 - Embratel fixed lines in service - 2007-2009
    Table 13 - GVT’s fixed lines in service - 2003-2009
    Table 14 - GVT - VoIP subscribers - 2005-2009
    Table 15 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1998-2010
    Table 16 - Public payphones - 1998-2009
    Table 17 - Net and GVT VoIP subscribers - 2005-2009
    Table 18 - Internet users and penetration rate - 2000-2010
    Table 19 - Active Internet users with own computer - 2000-2009
    Table 20 - UOL - paying subscribers - 2004-2009
    Table 21 - Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration rates - 2001-2010
    Table 22 - Broadband market share by technology - 2001-2009
    Table 23 - Cable modem subscribers and penetration rate - 2001-2009
    Table 24 - Net Vírtua subscribers - 2002-2009
    Table 25 - ADSL subscribers and penetration rates - 2001-2009
    Table 26 - ADSL - operators’ market share - 2002-2009
    Table 27 - Telesp - ADSL subscribers - 2000-2009
    Table 28 - Oi - ADSL subscribers - 2001-2009
    Table 29 - Brasil Telecom - ADSL subscribers (historical) - 2001-2008
    Table 30 - GVT - ADSL subscribers - 2003-2009
    Table 31 - Mobile broadband subscribers - 2008-2009
    Table 32 - Wireless broadband subscribers and penetration rates - 2006-2009
    Table 33 - Pay TV concessions by technology - 2009
    Table 34 - Pay TV subscribers and penetration rate - 1999-2009
    Table 35 - Pay TV market share by technology - 1999-2009
    Table 36 - Cable TV subscribers and penetration rates - 1999-2009
    Table 37 - MMDS subscribers and penetration rates - 1999-2009
    Table 38 - DTH subscribers and penetration rates - 1999-2009
    Table 39 - Major pay TV companies’ market share - 1998; 2003-2009
    Table 40 - Net Serviços’ pay TV subscribers - 2000-2009
    Table 41 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1997-2010
    Table 42 - Evolution of mobile ARPU in Brazil - major operators - 2006-2008
    Table 43 - Band A, B, D, and E subscribers - 2000-2008 (historical)
    Table 44 - Mobile subscribers by technology - 2002-2009
    Table 45 - Operator’s market share - 2003-2009
    Table 46 - Evolution of mobile ARPU in Brazil - major operators - 2006-2008
    Table 47 - Vivo subscribers - 2002-2009
    Table 48 - Vivo subscribers per subsidiary - 2002-2005 (historical)
    Table 49 - Telemig subscribers - 2002-2008 (historical)
    Table 50 - Claro subscribers - 2002-2009
    Table 51 - TIM Brasil subscribers - 2003-2009
    Table 52 - TIM Brasil - subscribers per subsidiary - 2002-2005 (historical)
    Table 53 - Oi - subscribers - 2002-2009
    Table 54 - Amazônia Celular subscribers (historical) - 2002-2007
    Table 55 - BrT Mobile subscribers (historical) - 2004-2008
    Table 56 - Nextel Brasil subscribers - 2002-2009
    Table 57 - CTBC subscribers - 2003-2009
    Table 58 - Sercomtel subscribers - 2003-2009
    Table 59 - Prepaid subscribers and market share - 2002-2009
    Table 60 - Forecast fixed line subscribers - higher growth scenario - 2010; 2015; 2020
    Table 61 - Forecast fixed line subscribers - lower growth scenario - 2010; 2015; 2020
    Table 62 - Forecast broadband subscribers and penetration rates - higher growth scenario - 2010; 2015; 2020
    Table 63 - Forecast broadband subscribers and penetration rates - lower growth scenario - 2010; 2015; 2020
    Table 64 - Forecast mobile subscribers - higher growth scenario - 2010; 2015; 2020
    Table 65 - Forecast mobile subscribers - lower growth scenario - 2010; 2015; 2020
    Exhibit 1 - Regions and States of Brazil
    Exhibit 2 - Privatisation of Telebrás
    Exhibit 3 - Fixed-line incumbents and mirror companies by region
    Exhibit 4 - Oi at a glance
    Exhibit 5 - Disputes between Brasil Telecom’s shareholders (historical)
    Exhibit 6 - Telesp at a glance
    Exhibit 7 - Embratel Participações at a glance
    Exhibit 8 - Principal subsidiaries of Embratel Participações (Embrapar) - 2009
    Exhibit 9 - Vésper (historical)
    Exhibit 10 - GVT at a glance
    Exhibit 11 - Major submarine cable networks landing in Brazil
    Exhibit 12 - Geostationary satellites operating in Brazil - 2009
    Exhibit 13 - UOL at a glance
    Exhibit 14 - Brasil Telecom (historical)
    Exhibit 15 - Net Serviços de Comunicação at a glance
    Exhibit 16 - Net Serviços (formerly Globo Cabo) - company history
    Exhibit 17 - Vivax - company history
    Exhibit 18 - Subdivision of Brazil into regions and areas
    Exhibit 19 - Geographic distribution of frequency bands
    Exhibit 20 - A-band mobile operators and technologies
    Exhibit 21 - B-band mobile operators and technologies
    Exhibit 22 - D-band mobile operators and technologies
    Exhibit 23 - E-band mobile operators and technologies
    Exhibit 24 - 3G auction winners
    Exhibit 25 - Bands F, G, I, and J for 3G services - areas and operators
    Exhibit 26 - Vivo at a glance
    Exhibit 27 - Vivo - concessions
    Exhibit 28 - Vivo group - origins, operating units, restructure
    Exhibit 29 - Telemig - historical
    Exhibit 30 - Telpart - origins, structure, shareholder disputes
    Exhibit 31 - Claro Brasil at a glance
    Exhibit 32 - Claro - concessions
    Exhibit 33 - Telecom Américas and Claro - origins, structure, and acquisitions
    Exhibit 34 - TIM Brasil at a glance
    Exhibit 35 - TIM Brasil - concession awards for frequency bands A, B, D, E
    Exhibit 36 - TIM Brasil - early beginnings
    Exhibit 37 - TIM Brasil - launch of GSM services
    Exhibit 38 - TIM Brasil - company restructure - 2003-2006
    Exhibit 39 - Oi at a glance
    Exhibit 40 - Oi - concession awards for frequency bands A, D, E, M
    Exhibit 41 - Amazônia Celular - historical
    Exhibit 42 - Brasil Telecom Celular - historical

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