The total number of registered SIM cards in Brazil climbed to 185.1 million in June this year, up 1.42 million (or 0.8%) from May, according to data published by the national telecoms regulator Anatel. As at 30 June, Vivo Participacoes – the cellco whose ownership is being contested by its equal joint venture partners Telefonica of Spain and Portugal Telecom (PT) – maintained its leading position with a market share of 30.24%, down slightly from 30.25% in May. America Movil’s local unit Telecom Americas (Claro) was second with 25.33% of the market, down from 25.41% in May, and TIM Brasil was in third place with 24.00%, up from 23.84%. Telemar Norte Leste’s Oi unit recorded a share of 20.08%, down from 20.15% the previous month.
In a related but unconfirmed story, Reuters reports that PT could agree to sell its 50% stake in Vivo to Telefonica ‘within days’ after committing to buy into fourth-placed Oi. Spanish financial El Economista cites unnamed financial sources as saying a deal could take place. PT is understood to have signed a pre-agreement with Oi valid until the end of next week to buy a stake once it has sold its part in Brasilcel, the joint venture through which Telefonica and PT control Vivo. Reuters notes that El Economista did not state the size of the Oi stake or give further details of who had agreed to sell it.