Online news journal Teleco reports that Brazilian mobile operator Telecom Americas (Claro), backed by Mexico’s America Movil, forged ahead with the deployment of 3G services to 62 municipalities across the country last month. To date, the cellco’s 3G signal has been extended to 473 municipalities – compared to 411 at 30 June 2011 – although it still lags behind market leader Vivo Participacoes, which boosted its footprint in 50 areas last month for a total of 1,506 municipalities. Meanwhile, TIM Brasil bolstered its 3G network coverage by five areas to 260 at end-August, while TNL (Oi) – which has been stuck on 210 municipalities since 2010 – had added three new areas by the start of September. Smaller regional operators CTBC Celular (Algar Telecom) and Sercomtel Celular are present in 32 and two cities, respectively.
National telecoms regulator Anatel reports that overall 3G coverage stood at 1,635 out of more than 5,000 municipalities at 31 August 2011, up 6% quarter-on-quarter. At the same date Claro controlled an estimated 41.5% of the total W-CDMA/3G devices in the country, ahead of Vivo (32.4%), TIM Brasil (21.1%) and Oi (4.8%).