The state of play in Brazil’s telecoms industry

Bnamericas Published: Monday, February 06, 2023
The state of play in Brazil’s telecoms industry

About 338mn telecoms accesses, including broadband, fixed telephony, mobile lines and pay TV, were in operation in Brazil at the end of December 2022, roughly 3.6mn fewer than at the end of 2021.

The decline in the data compiled by regulator Anatel was driven by mobile telephony and pay TV, which recorded drops of 2.7mn and 2.1mn accesses, respectively. Fixed broadband was the only segment that grew, with 2.7mn new subscriptions.

Meanwhile, 5.8mn 5G accesses – non-standalone (NSA) and standalone (SA) – were in operation roughly one year after the spectrum auction. 5G has grown faster than previous technologies in the same period of time.

BNamericas takes a closer look at the figures for each service.


Following the disconnections of inactive lines, mostly prepaid ones, that used to belong to Oi, and with the decline of 3G and 2G technologies, the segment recorded its first annual drop since the onset of the pandemic.

With 24.5mn, 3G had fewer accesses than 2G (25.8mn). 4G is dominant with 77.7% of total lines, but the pace of its expansion is slowing as 5G advances.

Overall, market leader Telefônica Brasil’s Vivo brand had 38.9% of all mobile lines in the country, up from 38.4% in November, followed by Claro (33%, down from 33.6%), TIM (24.8%, flat), Algar (1.8%, flat) and others (1.5%, up from 1.4%).

Postpaid accounted for 55.6% of the total, up from 53.2% in December 2021 but down from 56.0% in November. 

Anatel reported 5G SA figures for the first time after the first activations last July, registering 3.1mn accesses. Of the total, 41.9% belonged to TIM, followed by Telefônica (32.9%) and Claro (25.3%). 5G NSA comprised 2.7mn accesses, with 63.1% from Claro, 35.6% from Telefônica and 1.3% from TIM.


Of the 44.4mn fixed broadband accesses in December, 31mn were via fiber optics, up from 26.1mn in December 2021. Compared with November, fiber broadband grew by 200,000 connections.

The rest were coaxial cable (20% in December 2022), metal cable (5.6%), radio (4%) and satellite (0.7%) connections. 

Despite slower expansion in recent months, small ISPs and local providers continue to lead the market comfortably, with a combined share of 36% in overall fixed broadband and 43.6% in fiber broadband connections. 

That group excludes ISPs and telcos with a market share of more than 1%, such as EB Fibra (Alloha, with 4.1% of the fiber broadband total), Brisanet (3.5%), Claro (2.9%), Desktop (2.6%), Algar (2.5%), Vero (2.2%), AmericaNet (1.9%), Unifique (1.9%) and TIM (1.8%) and Triple Play (1.5%).

The fiber segment is led by Telefônica Brasil and Oi, with 17.7% and 13.7%, respectively.

Claro continues to lose fixed broadband share but remains the leading operator, with 21.9% of all connections, followed by Telefônica Brasil (14.6%) and Oi (11.4%).


Pay-TV subscriptions dropped again in December, to 14mn from 16.1mn in December 2021 and from 14.2mn in November.

The segment is led by Claro, with 43.2% of all subscriptions, up from 43.1% in November. Next is Sky (28.8%, up from 28.5%), Oi (18%, down from 18.3%), Telefônica (6.9% down from 7%), and others (3.1%, flat).

Satellite DTH accounted for 57% of all accesses at year-end, down from 57.2% in November, followed by coaxial cable (33.4%, flat) and fiber (9.6%, up from 9.4%).

Fixed telephony subscriptions totaled 27.1mn at end-December, down from 27.6mn the month before.

Considering all types of contracts, Claro led landline accesses with a 30% market share, up from 29.5% in November, followed by Oi (28.7%, up from 28.5%), Telefônica (25.8%, up from 25.3%), Algar Telecom (5.1%, up from 5%) and TIM (2.7%, flat), among the largest players.


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