Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/28/2014 -- All four of the leading mobile operators in Brazil have reported a positive response to the launch of 4G LTE services since H113, boosting subscriber growth to 1.310mn by the end of the year. This has come at the right time for the mobile market, which has seen growth slow down considerably, as it reaches a saturation point. Opportunities for revenue growth will come from the value-added services such as M2M and m-commerce as the market matures beyond a prepaid centric environment of subscription acquisition maximisation. In the broadband market, Anatel has been active in trying to enhance competition, reducing licence fees for operators wishing to provide multiple services and the potential entrance of VTR (Liberty Global) is reportedly due in Q214. Investments in broadband are beginning to be focused on fibre optic cables but it will be a number of years before this technology really takes hold.
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- Mobile subscription growth slowed markedly in 2013 to 3.8% y-o-y due to saturation as the penetration rate reached 135.3% at the end of December 2013.
- LTE subscriptions reached 1.310mn at the end of 2013, showing good growth since the technology was launched in H113. Vivo is the market leader with 538,000 LTE connections and 41.1% of the total.
- Strong broadband subscription growth continued, with total wireline subscriptions reaching 20.882mn at the end of September 2013, up from 18.591mn a year earlier.
- M2M connections reach 8.297mn at the end of December 2013, up by 22.6% y-o-y.
Key Trends And Developments
The Chilean cable operator VTR is reported to be planning a launch of operations in Brazil in H114. The company is a subsidiary of international cable company Liberty Global, and will use a US$1.4bn bond issue to finance the launch. BMI highlights GVT as the most likely company to be acquired by VTR, in order to facilitate this launch.
Poste Italiane's successful MVNO business model seems set to be transplanted into the vibrant Brazilian mobile market through a joint venture with its Brazilian counterpart. The new venture with Correios do Brasil is still holding 'positive' discussions with Brazil's three largest mobile operators - TIM Brasil, Vivo and Claro - and expects to close an agreement in the near future. Although PosteMobile might feel compelled to work with Telecom Italia-owned TIM Brasil, it is under no obligations to do so and will choose the network with the broadest coverage and the resources that showcase its mobile financial solutions.
In February 2014, it was announced that the Brazilian government plans to sell off unused wireless spectrum in H214. According to reports, the government also plans to sell off the 1800MHz spectrum, which was previously acquired by Unicel do Brasil Telecomunicacoes (Unicel). Unused H-band 3G frequencies are also likely to be sold in H214.
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