Is Brazil mobile-ready for FIFA World Cup? Infonetics report says no


Campbell, CALIFORNIA, February 28, 2014—Market research firm Infonetics Research released excerpts from its new 2G, 3G, LTE Mobile Infrastructure and Subscribers in Brazil market share and forecast report, which tracks GSM, W-CDMA, and LTE equipment and subscribers in Brazil.


"Despite the size of the country and its economic clout, Brazil's mobile infrastructure is modest in size, with a total installed base of just 60,000 base transceiver stations at the beginning of last year. For comparison's sake, AT&T alone has roughly this many BTS in the U.S.," notes Stéphane Téral, Infonetics' principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics.

"Brazil has even bigger problems to address, of course, with ongoing anti-World Cup riots and other infrastructure issues, but I don't see how they will possibly be mobile-ready in 4 months for the FIFA World Cup," adds Téral. "They've installed distributed antenna systems (DAS) in some stadiums, so those should be fine, but there are way too few base transceiver stations in surrounding neighborhoods, such as those around the Maracanã stadium in Rio, to handle the mobile traffic of the impending crowds. And currently there are only 24 base transceiver stations in Jacarepaguá, where most of the Olympics will be hosted in 2016. Brazil has some work to do."


  • With 136% mobile penetration – 276 million subscribers – and not enough base transceiver stations (BTS) to accommodate the load, mobile communications in Brazil are slow, around 1.4 Mbps on average
  • 3G, not LTE, was the major spending event in Brazil in 2013 ($278 million vs. $96 million)
  • Telefónica's Vivo is Brazil's top mobile operator, slightly ahead of Telecom Italia's TIM
  • On the vendor side, NSN leads the Brazilian RAN market with over a 1/3 market share; Ericsson is a close 2nd, with Huawei rounding out the top 3
  • Infonetics expects Brazil's mobile infrastructure market to grow through 2016 and then turn bleak as major infrastructure projects are completed, resulting in a 2013–2018 CAGR of 0.4%
  • The ongoing shift from prepaid to postpaid is Brazil's major transformation: A decade ago, over 85% of Brazil's mobile subscriber base was prepaid, falling to around 71% today


Clients, log in to join Stéphane Téral March 3 at noon ET for a Brazilian mobile infrastructure recap and outlook, or view on demand:


Infonetics' annual mobile infrastructure and subscribers in Brazil report provides market size, vendor market share, forecasts through 2018, analysis, and trends for 2G (GSM), 3G (W CDMA), and 4G (LTE) equipment and subscribers in Brazil. The report includes statistics collected from Brazil's national regulatory agency Anatel and Teleco Inteligencia em Telecomunicações. It also features an LTE Deployment Tracker that details operator deployments and trials. To buy the report, contact Infonetics: