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THE 2019 MOBILE REVIEW BRAZIL
For the first time, the network benchmarking expert P3 and the magazine connect have analyzed the mobile networks in Brazil. We have conducted a thorough crowd based analysis over a period of three months both for the whole country and for the large Brazilian cities Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro. This comprehensive Mobile Review Brazil takes into account the challenges mobile operators face with an extremely large country and a disparate distribution
of its population. Furthermore, we have compared the city results with those of leading world capitals.
RESULTS IN A NUTSHELL
Overall, the Brazilian mobile networks show acceptable results in the metropolitan areas while in the more rural parts of the country, they lack in coverage and performance. Still, P3‘s sophisticated crowdsourcing analysis reveals specific strengths of each operator. As this Mobile Review of the networks in Brazil is not based on the full methodology of our regular network benchmarks, we abstained from grading the operators.
However, analyzing the P3 crowd data provides a good indication of their achievements. The extensive crowdsourcing analysis, based on 6.3 billion samples collected in a 3-month period from December 2018 to February 2019 and additional analyses for large Brazilian cities (here for the nation‘s capital, Brasilia, as well as for Rio de Janeiro) provide clear results: Mobile coverage and good network performance clearly concentrate on Brazil‘s larger cities and metropolitan areas. These findings can be explained to some degree by the huge size of the country and its distinct geographical distribution of the population – about 90 per cent of the Brazilian population are located in the federal states near the southern and eastern coast of the country.
Particularly in the metropolitan areas, the performance and quality of mobile networks is overall acceptable and keeps up with the average of international operators. However, in the more rural areas of Brazil, there is room for improvement for all Brazilian operators.
In our nationwide assessment, Telefónica (Vivo) leads the field overall and also shows the best voice and data coverage. TIM ranks best in 4G coverage, while Claro achieves the best score for the average user download speed. In the considered evaluation period, Telefónica and Oi suffered the least service degradations, thus achieving the best score for data service availability. Deeper insights as well as results for different evaluation areas and periods can be made available to interested parties on request.
OPERATORS IN BRAZIL
The originally state-owned Telebás was demerged and privatized in 1998. International telecommunications provider Telefónica bought the São Paulo
division and expanded it by subsequent mergers and joint ventures. In 2006, the several holding companies merged into the single company Vivo. In 2012,
all Brazilian Telefónica services were rebranded to Vivo. Today, Telefónica holds about 74% of Vivo‘s shares. With approximately 74 million subscribers, Vivo is Brazil‘s largest operator.
It operates GSM at 850, 900 and 1800 MHz, UMTS at 850 and 2100 MHz as well as LTE and LTE-Advanced at 700, 1800 and 2600 MHz.
Additional Smaller And Regional Operators
Especially the LTE and LTE-Advanced offerings of Brazil‘s larger mobile operators concentrate in the bigger cities of the country. There are also still many smaller, regional contenders. Owned by an US-American holding company, Nextel accounts for about 3.2 million customers and operates UMTS at 2100 MHz and LTE at 1800 and 2100 MHz in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brazil‘s Federal District. In areas where Nextel does not offer its own coverage, customers can roam on Vivo. In the foreseeable future, Nextel is announced to be merged into Claro. The privately owned Algar Telecom is present in the states of Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, São Paulo, and in the Federal District, servicing 1.3 million mobile customers with GSM at 900 and 1800 MHz, UMTS at 2100 MHz and LTE at 700 and 1800 MHz. Sercomtel is a local mobile and fixed-line provider in the state of Paraná, servicing about 60,000 customers with GSM services at 900 and 1800 MHz, as well as UMTS at 850 MHz. SurfTelecom is mostly known as a MVNO using the TIM network, but also operates its own TDD-LTE network at 2600 MHz in São Paulo city. The subscription TV provider Sky Brazil operates TDD-LTE cells at 2600 MHz in some cities. For the last two, no mobile customer numbers are publicly available.
A STUDY INTO THE BRAZILIAN MOBILE MARKET
DETAILED ANALYSIS FOR THE METROPOLITAN AREAS OF BRASILIA AND RIO DE JANEIRO
As already mentioned before, the unique geography of Brazil and its distinct population distribution have a clear effect: The Brazilian operators concentrate much more on providing coverage and services to the larger metropolitan areas than to the rural parts of the country.
In order to investigate how pronounced the differences in network coverage and quality are, we have conducted additional crowdsourced analyses for the areas of Brasilia, the nation‘s capital, as well as for Rio de Janeiro. This, geographically focused examination covers the same period as our nationwide analysis – spanning December 2018, January 2019 and February 2019.
HOW DOES BRASILIA COMPARE TO OTHER WORLD CAPITALS?
As the country´s capital, Brasilia is competing with other metropolitan areas on a global scale. Therefore, we have compared our crowdsourced throughput results gathered in Brasilia with those achieved in Berlin, Cape Town, Jakarta, London, Singapore and Sydney.
A look at the average values of the best throughputs achieved by each individual user participating in our crowdsourcing for the metropolitan areas of Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro shows that the Brazilian operators score in the middle field worldwide. The analysis considers the same evaluation period (December 2018 to February 2019) as the other crowd results in this report.
VERY STRONG SINGAPORE AND SYDNEY, COMPARABLE PERFORMANCE IN LONDON AND JAKARTA
A more detailed look at the single values provides interesting results. Claro, Telefonica and TIM score significantly better than Oi.