MONTREAL, CANADA: 2010 could be the year for the Brazilian 4G market, with auctions expected for the 3.5GHz, 2.5GHz, 450MHz bands and remaining 3G spectrum, according to Maravedis’ latest report, “Brazil Wireless Broadband and WiMAX Market Analysis, 2010.”
“As the largest market in Latin America, Brazil offers attractive opportunities for 4G operators. Demand for wireless broadband access is intensifying, but lack of sufficient spectrum has delayed many commercial network deployments. With two public consultations held in 2009 for 2.5GHz and 3.5GHz spectrum allocation, Anatel could release spectrum for the development of 4G this year,” explained report author Cintia Garza, Senior Analyst for Latin America.
“At present, WiMAX activity in Brazil has taken place in 3.5GHz only, with Neovia and Embratel leading the market. The driven applications are high-speed Internet and VoIP provided, mainly to address the needs of the small-medium enterprises and multi-dwelling units markets,” she added.“
On the other hand, mobile services have been a tremendous success, with 168 million mobile users out of a population of 192 million inhabitants. The predominant technology is GSM with 151 million subscribers, followed by CDMA and WCDMA with 8.4 million and 3.5 million respectively.
Select key findings
* 75 percent of 3.5GHz spectrum has yet to be released.
* There are over 130,000 WiMAX subscribers today in Brazil, using a combination of 16d and 16e equipment.
* Major WiMAX players in Brazil are Neovia and Embratel (Telmex) (3.5GHz only).
* WiMAX ARPU is $30 (residential) and $115 (business) compared to $15 for 3G services.
* The 2.5 GHz band is primarily allocated to MMDS and BWA, with restrictions for mobility.
* Anatel might auction 2.5GHz under a technology-neutral scheme allowing mobility.
* Major 3G mobile operators in Brazil include: Vivo, TIM, Claro, Oi and Telecom Brazil.