Brazil
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Spotlight: The state of play in Brazil’s telecoms industry

Bnamericas Published: Monday, November 07, 2022
Spotlight: The state of play in Brazil’s telecoms industry

Brazil continued to expand its telecoms base in September but with more intense adjustments in some segments, including the disconnection of several 4G and 2G accesses and advances mainly in postpaid, 5G and, to a lesser extent, fiber broadband.

The country ended the month with 348.3mn telecoms accesses, including broadband, fixed telephony, mobile lines and pay TV, up from roughly 347mn a month before and an increase of 11.3mn on the same time 2021, according to regulator Anatel.

Mobile telephony accounted for 259mn of the accesses, fixed broadband 42.8mn, fixed telephony 32.1mn and pay TV 14.4mn. 

On a net basis, all the segments except for fixed telephony saw month-on-month declines.

FIXED BROADBAND

Total fixed broadband accesses were 42.8mn at the end of September, down from 43.9mn at end-August, according to Anatel’s revised figures due mostly to under-notification from some companies.

Fiber represented 68.9%, or 29.2mn compared to 67.9% a month earlier. The technology has seen growth of 4.9mn in one year, decelerating from the annual pace seen in recent months.

The remainder were coaxial cable (20.9%, up from 20.5% at end- August), metal cable (6.7%, down from 6.8%), radio (3.4%, down from 4%) and satellite (0.7%, down from 0.8%) connections.

Small ISPs and local providers led the market with a combined share of 35.7% in fixed broadband, compared with 36.2% a month earlier, and 43.5% in fiber broadband connections, down from 43.6%.

The group excludes ISPs and telcos with a market share of more than 1%, which include, in addition to the local incumbents, EB Fibra (Alloha, with 2.9% of the fixed broadband total), Brisanet (2.4%), Algar (1.8%), Desktop (1.7%), TIM (1.7%),Vero (1.6%), AmericaNet (1.3%) and Triple Play (1.2%).

Alloha is a holding company that controls the ISPs Sumicity, VIP, Liga and Mob, among others. It is owned by private equity group EB Capital, which, according to the latest market reports, is looking to split Alloha into an infrastructure operation and a customer service operation, putting the former up for sale and retaining the latter. 

Claro remains the leading single operator, with 22.7% of all fixed broadband connections (up from 22.2% in August), followed by Telefônica Brasil (which operates as Vivo, 15.0%, up from 14.6%) and Oi (11.9%, up from 11.6%).

The leaders in net additions in September were AmericaNet (44,000) and Telefônica (26,000), as well as Brisanet and EB Fibra, each with around 20,000.

 

MOBILE TELEPHONY

Anatel reports 4.1mn 5G lines in the country, comprising both “pure” or standalone 5G and non-standalone, which largely relies on existing spectrum and the 4G network.

The figure is up from 3.6mn at end-August.

At the end of September, 1.8mn of these accesses were non-standalone, with Claro accounting for 53%, Telefônica for 44.6% and TIM for 2.4%.

In 5G standalone, 36.9% of the 2.2mn accesses reported belong to TIM. Claro had 32.9% and Telefônica 30%. 

Overall, Brazil had 259mn mobile lines in service at end-September, down from 261.3mn a month earlier and roughly 10mn more than at the end of September 2021.

Market leader Telefônica had 37.6% of the total mobile lines, down from 38.3%. The carrier had reported that it had disconnected around 3mn inactive lines it acquired from Oi.

Telefônica is ahead of Claro (33.4%, up from 33%), TIM (26.6%, up from 26.4%), Algar (1.7%, up from 1.6%) and others (0.7%, flat).

Postpaid accounted for 54.4% of the total, up from 53.9% in August, with prepaid down to 45.6%.

4G accounted for 203.4mn of the total, down by 3mn from August, likely due to the disconnections of Oi’s lines. Meanwhile, 3G accesses grew to 10.5% and 2G lines fell to 9.4%. The remainder were served by 5G.

PAY TV AND FIXED TELEPHONY

Pay TV subscriptions dropped again, falling to 14.4mn from 14.7mn at the end of August. Since September 2021, the service has lost over 2.4mn subscribers. 

Claro leads with 43.2% of all subscriptions, which was flat month-on-month. Next is Sky (28.3%, up from 28.1% in August), Oi (18.8%, down from 19%), Telefônica (6.9%, flat), and others (2.8%, down from 2.9%).

Satellite DTH accounted for 57.5% of all pay-TV accesses as of the end of September, up from 57.4% in August, ahead of coaxial cable (33.4%, down from 33.5%) and fiber (9.1%, up from 9.0%).

Finally, fixed telephony contracts amounted to 32.1mn at end-September, up by 4mn at end-August after base adjustments by Anatel.

Considering all types of contracts, Claro led this segment too, with a 40.0% share, up from 31.4% in August, followed by Oi (25.0%, down from 28.8%), Telefônica (21.9%, down from 25.1%) Algar Telecom (4.2%, down from 4.8%), and TIM (2.3%, down from 2.7%).

 

 Source of all charts: Anatel

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