According to data published by Brazilian firm Teleco, all but one of Brazil’s 5,505 municipalities is now served by at least one mobile network signal. Using data gathered from the national regulator Anatel and local carriers, the study concludes that by the start of this month only Nazaria, a remote town of 8,000 inhabitants in the northeast state of Piaui was without any form of coverage. At the same date, mobile market leader Vivo Participacoes was present in 3,704 municipalities, equivalent to coverage of 90.7% of the Brazilian population. Telecoms America (Claro) had the second largest footprint, with a signal in 3,568 cities and towns (90.6%), ahead of Oi SA with 3,316 municipalities covered (87.9%) and TIM Brasil with 3,212 (89.6%).
The study also reported that by 31 May this year, around 39.6% of Brazil’s cities were served by just one network operator, 12.5% by two carriers, 7.2% by three and 37.9% by four, suggesting that the main players tend to concentrate their rollout efforts on garnering market share in Brazil’s more important and potentially lucrative cities. For example, of the 55,189 active base transceiver stations (BTS) reportedly deployed countrywide, no fewer than 13,848 are located in Sao Paulo state alone, compared to only 90 BTS in the northern state of Roraima.