When will Brazil have 100 cell phones per 100 inhabitants?


Brazil already has 60 cell/100 inhab and record growth of 1.9 million cell phones in Oct/07.



In 1998, when happened the privatization and implantation of Band B operators, they believed, because of the population income, there was a density limit to cell phones in Brazil.


The limits established were surpassed year after year. Cellular density exceeded fixed telephone in 2003 and continued to grow in the following years. Cellular is a telephone of personal usage and criative service plans as pre-paid made accessible to most part of the population.


Brazil ended Oct/07 with 114.69 million cell phones and density of 60.42 cell/100 inhab. Net Adds of 1.9 million in Oct/07 were almost 3 times bigger than Oct/06.


Accumulated net adds in the year 14.8 million until Oct/07. Just to be repeated in November and December the performance of these months in 2005 to Brazil end 2007 with 120 million cell phones and density of 63 cell/100 inhab. (More details).



Four Federation units already have density bigger than 70 cell/100 inhab Federal District (113), Rio de Janeiro (76), Rio Grande do Sul (73) and Mato Grosso do Sul (73). The amount of local areas with density bigger than 70 cell/100 inhab is growing, and Salvador (71) the most dense with 104.7 cell/100 inhab. (More details).


Note: Brazil has 67 local areas to cell phone which correspond to the DDD(area) codes (for example: 11 - São Paulo, 21 – Rio, 71 – Salvador).


The market should continue hot in 2008 with the entry of 3G and Oi in Sao Paulo, Vivo in the Northeast. There is space for the cell phone to keep growing at rates exceeding 10% a year over the next few years and reach density of cellulars superior to 100 cell/100 inhab.


Density of Brazil is lesser than other Latin America countries


Apesar de estar acima da média mundial (46 cel/100 hab) o Brasil possui uma densidade de celular menor que a de outros países da América Latina como Argentina, Chile, Venezuela e Colômbia.


Despite being above the world average (46 cell/100 inhab), Brazil has cell phone density lesser than other Latin American countries like Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and Colombia.



There is a group of countries in the world where the density of cell phones is already more than 100 cell/100 inhab. Among them Italy, Portugal, Russia and most of the 27 countries in the European Union.


Density and users amount


It is important to remember, however, that the amount cell phone users in a country is not equal to the amount of active cell phone in the operators.


O órgão regulador de Portugal (Anacom) realizou em Dez/06 um levantamento sobre a utilização de telefones celulares que apresentou os seguintes resultados:


The national regulator of Portugal (Anacom) held in Dec/06 a survey on the use of cell phones which has submitted the following results:

  • 14.9% of cell phone users have 2 active cell phones (Sim cards).
  • 2.5% of users have 3 or more cell phones (Sim cards).
  • Existem celulares (sim cards) utilizados exclusivamente para serviços de dados e acesso à Internet e associados a equipamentos em aplicações de automação.
  • There are cell phones (Sim cards) exclusively used to data services and Internet access and associated to equipments in applications of automation.

So, a density of 100 cell/ 100 inhab. doesn't mean that all of the inhabitants in the country have 1 cell phone.


Still there is some issues in the counting of cell phones by operators.


These don't invalidate the density as an indicator of the progress of cell phone penetration in the country. The following graphic illustrates the case of Russia (more details).



According to this commentary you could ask :

  • When will Brazil reach density of 100 cell/100 inhab?
  • Until when cell phone will continue growing in Brazil rates superior to 10% a year?
  • Is there space to the entrance of a new national group ? and what about MVNOs?
  • What is the determining factor of increased density? Service price? Device price?
  • Will 3G change the rate of cell phone's growth?





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