Vivo, the Brazilian mobile operator controlled by Telefonica of Spain, has announced a first for the country, with the launch of 4G international roaming on its network. In a statement yesterday, the cellco said that the new service went live on Wednesday 2 October for subscribers in Sao Paulo travelling to the US. The service is being switched on at a national level from today, with Vivo looking to add a minimum ten new countries to the list by the end of the year. Travellers from these countries will also be able to benefit from 3G and 4G roaming while visiting Brazil, the cellco added.
The news comes as national regulator Anatel confirmed that Vivo controlled more than 45% of total 4G accesses in the country at end-August. At that date Brazil was home to 398,620 such connections, up from 257,214 4G accesses in July. By 1 September, there were a total of 268 million active mobile connections in the country, thanks to 1.44 million net additions in the previous month, taking cellular penetration up to 135.4%. The majority, 212 million connections (or 79.1%) were pre-paid, and 56.2 million were post-paid (20.9%). 3G W-CDMA connections stood at 77.8 million, up from 73.7 million a month earlier. Machine-to-machine (M2M) terminals climbed to 7.95 million, from seven million in July. CDMA phones accounted for just 50,000 of the total – or 0.02% of the market.
In terms of market share, Vivo had a 28.7% share (77.1 million lines) at 31 August, ahead of TIM Brasil with 27.2% (72.9 million), Claro with 67.1 million (25.0%), Oi SA (50 million, 18.8%), CTBC/Algar (943,802, 0.35%), Sercomtel (78,586, 0.03%), iDEN operator Nextel Brasil (177,081), and mobile virtual network operators Porto Seguro and Datora, with 65,054 accesses and 14,250 terminals respectively.