Spotlight: The state of play in Brazil’s telecom market

Bnamericas Published: Monday, January 09, 2023
Spotlight: The state of play in Brazil’s telecom market

Brazil ended November 2022 with 340.6mn accesses to mobile services, fixed broadband, pay TV and fixed telephony.

The figure is down by nearly 7mn from October, according to telecoms regulator Anatel, mostly due to the cutting off of inactive mobile lines inherited by leading carriers following their acquisition of Oi’s mobile business.

In November 2021, the country had 339.5mn telecom accesses in service.

The industry also saw declines in November in fixed telephony, pay TV and fixed broadband, as the expansion of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) by internet service providers slowed with fiercer competition and macro woes. The fiber base, for example, recorded its first drop in many years.


Following a series of disconnections of inactive lines that used to belong to Oi, the country saw in November the biggest base decline in over seven years.

With the clean-up of around 6.4mn of these lines, mostly by TIM but also by América Móvil’s Claro and MVNOs, Brazil ended the month with 254.9mn mobile lines in service, down from 261.1mn at end-October.

Market leader Telefônica Brasil’s Vivo brand had 38.4% of the total mobile lines in the country, up from 37.4% in October, followed by Claro (33.6%, up from 33.2%), TIM (24.8%, down from 26.3%), Algar (1.8%, up 1 point) and others (1.4%, flat).

Postpaid accounted for 56% of the total, up from 54.9% in October. This growth is also related to Oi’s disconnections, as most of the company’s clients were prepaid. 

Of the mobile lines, 77.7% were 4G, while 3G accesses were 10.3% and 2G lines 10%. The rest were 5G, in non-standalone format (5G NSA, 0.9% of the total) or standalone (5G SA, 1.1%).

In total, Brazil had 5.1mn 5G accesses.

In 5G SA, for which figures were first reported by Anatel following the beginning of activations last July, 1.1mn accesses (41.1% of November's total) belonged to TIM. Telefônica Brasil followed with 902,800 while Claro had 692,500. 


Total fixed broadband accesses reached 44mn at the end of November, down from 44.4mn a month before, according to Anatel.

The total fiber base declined for the first time in four years as ISPs, which used to be the main force driving the segment, are struggling to convert new fiber deployments into clients and are grappling with greater churn.

Fiber represented 69.1%, or 30.4mn, of all fixed broadband connections in the country in November, compared to 30.6mn at end-October and 25.3mn at end-November 2021.

The rest were coaxial cable (20.2% in November 2022), metal cable (6%), radio (4.1%) and satellite (0.7%) connections. 

Small ISPs and local providers led the market with a combined share of 36.8% in overall fixed broadband and 44.8% in fiber broadband connections. 

That group excludes ISPs and telcos with a market share of more than 1%, which include EB Fibra (Alloha, with 4.1% of the fiber broadband total), Brisanet (3.5%), Claro (2.8%), Algar (2.5%), Desktop (2.5%), Vero (2.3%), AmericaNet (2%), Unifique (1.9%) and TIM (1.8%).

The fiber segment is led by Telefônica Brasil and Oi, with 17.8% and 13.9%, respectively.

In fixed broadband overall, Claro lost share but remains the leading single operator, with 22.1% of all connections, followed by Telefônica Brasil (14.7%) and Oi (11.5%).


Pay TV subscriptions dropped again in November, ending the month at 14.2mn, down 0.5% from October and 6.2% year-over-year.

The segment is led by Claro, with 43.1% of all subscriptions, flat month-on-month. Next is Sky (28.5%, up from 28.3%), Oi (18.3%, down from 18.5%), Telefônica (7%, down from 6.9%), and others (3.1%, flat).

Satellite DTH accounted for 57.2% of all pay-TV accesses as of the end of November, followed by coaxial cable (33.4%) and fiber (9.4%). 

Finally, fixed telephony contracts totaled 27.6mn at end-November, down from 27.5mn at end-October. 

While the overall base fell, the number of clients replacing copper landlines for fiber connections grew, and fiber telephony added roughly 400,000 clients during the month.

Considering all types of contracts, Claro led fixed telephony accesses with a 29.5% market share, down from 29.8%, followed by Oi (28.5%, down from 28.8%), Telefônica (25.3%, down from 25.4%), Algar Telecom (5%, flat) and TIM (2.7%, flat).

Charts: Anatel

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