Lewes, DE -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/04/2014 -- With the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games being held in Brazil, operators have been rushing to extend LTE and FttP networks. These undertakings are supported by legislation which offers tax breaks for investments in networks supporting fixed or mobile broadband, as well as by the General Competition Plan regulating wholesale services and infrastructure sharing. This will be good news for customers into 2016, since Brazil, though the largest broadband market in the region, has relatively penetration.
International infrastructure is also developing well, with the construction of new submarine cables and a regional landline cable being built under the auspices of the Union of South American Nations. These will considerably increase international bandwidth in coming years.
The fixed-line sector is dominated by Telefónica, América Móvil, Oi (being merged with Portugal Telecom), and GVT (owned by Vivendi). Telefónica Brasil has integrated its fixed-line and mobile services under a single brand, while América Móvil has also merged its Net Serviços and Embratel divisions and has started to integrate its fixed and mobile services under the brand name Claro.
The pay TV market has seen sustained growth since 1996. The country has the largest pay TV subscriber base in Latin America, though pay TV penetration is lower than several other local markets. As a result, there is ample room for further growth, which has encouraged investors to gain a foothold in the market. A favourable pay TV law of 2011 removed restrictions on foreign investment and on telcos being able to provide pay TV services.
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Brazil is home to more than one third of all mobile users in Latin America and the Caribbean. Mobile penetration is upward of 132% and growing by about 7% annually. The four MNOs Vivo, Claro, TIM Brasil, and Oi are developing 4G services on their 2.5GHz concessions, encouraged by the government keen to see seamless connectivity during the FIFA World Cup. These networks will see far larger footprints and capabilities following the auction of spectrum in the 700MHz band in August 2014, though some spectrum will not be fully released by broadcasters until 2016. The volume of smartphones, in which Brazil has a large manufacturing base of its own, is expected to soar in coming years, supported by a large population, tax breaks on smartphone sales and the tumbling prices of devices. This will have important knock-on effects for the m-commerce sector.
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