The National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) has unveiled the latest update of the Telecommunications Networks Structural Plan (PERT) for 2023. The strategic plan, designed to enhance broadband access in Brazil, focuses on coordinating efforts and investments between the public and private sectors.
With the release of the updated PERT, Anatel aims to provide an updated panorama of telecommunications in the country, drawing data from the last quarter of 2022.
Expanding Mobile Access and Maturing Market
According to the report, the mobile market in Brazil has been stable over the past five years, with a trend towards 100 percent penetration, aligning with the global average. The maturation of offers, including the expansion of postpaid services, has surpassed prepaid services when considering legal entities. Additionally, around 80 percent of mobile devices now have broadband access (4G and 5G).
Consistent Evolution of Fixed Broadband
While telecommunications services for residential use, such as TV and Fixed Telephony, have seen subsequent declines, the fixed broadband service (SCM) has shown consistent evolution over the years. It has reached a penetration rate of 21.2 percent, aligning with the global average. However, there is still a noticeable gap compared to developed countries, emphasizing the need for further expansion and development.
Rise of Fiber Optic Access and Improved Speeds
One of the notable developments in Brazil's telecommunications landscape is the significant rise in fibre optic accesses, accounting for 70 percent of total accesses.
Anatel says this shift to fibre optics has positively impacted the national average speed, which reached 302.3 Mbps in 2022. Fixed broadband accesses with more than 34 Mbps speed already add up to more than 85 percent of total accesses.
Improving Quality Indicators and Challenges of Inequality
The report highlights that quality indicators for service providers in both fixed broadband services (SCM) and mobile services (SMP) have improved, reaching fulfillment rates of 73 percent and 82.3 percent, respectively, in 2022.
Although there has been a recent decline, the indicators still demonstrate progress compared to previous years. However, access inequality remains a significant challenge, particularly in the North and Northeast regions, requiring targeted efforts to bridge the gap.
Infrastructure Expansion and Coverage Disparities
Anatel's report reveals an expansion in the fibre optic backhaul network, now serving 76.5 percent of Brazilian municipalities, connecting areas representing 93.9 percent of the population.
However, there are still 1,309 municipalities without fiber optic backhaul, primarily located in the North, Northeast, and northern region of Minas Gerais.
Mobile coverage on federal highways also shows disparities between regions, with low 4G coverage in states such as Amazonas, Roraima, Amapa, and Acre, hindering regional development.
Dominance of Major Telecom Groups and Path Towards Development
In the SMP market, three major groups, Telefonica Brasil (Vivo), Telecom Americas (Claro), and Telecom Italia (TIM), collectively account for 96.6 percent of total subscribers. This dominance emphasizes the importance of fostering balanced competition and encouraging the development of infrastructure to enhance service offerings.
Additionally, the report identifies areas with low 4G coverage on federal highways, underscoring the need for expanded connectivity to drive regional growth.
By addressing various issues, Anatel aims to bridge the digital divide and foster a more connected and inclusive society across the country.