Prepaid stake in Brazil grew in 2008


Brazil finished 2008 counting 122.7 million prepaid cellulars, what represent 81.47% from the 150.6 million cellulars in the country.


Prepaid cellulars started to be sold in Brazil in 1998, by CTBC Celular, and the prepaid cellular stake in the cellular total in Brazil grew quickly until reach 80.8% in 2005. This percentage remained stable in 2006 and 2007, getting back to growth in 2008.



The prepaid cellulars stake in the cellular total isn't uniform in the whole country. It's bigger in the North and Northeast and smaller in the South and Southeast.


AP 89.8%
PB 89.8%
RO 89.4%
MA 89.2%
AM 89.0%
CE 88.7%
AC 88.6%
TO 88.4%
PE 87.9%
GO 87.5%
RN 87.4%
SE 87.0%
BA 86.0%
MT 85.6%
RR 84.8%
PA 90.8%
AL 90.4%
PI 90.3%


PR 81.1%
MS 80.9%
DF 79.7%
SP 79.5%
SC 78.9%
MG 78.6%
ES 76.2%
RJ 75.1%
RS 74.5%



Prepaid represents more than 80% of the cellulars of the main Brazilian operators and, despite representing a smaller ARPU than the postpaid, it's a very important revenue source for these companies. Oi, for example, is the operator with the biggest prepaid percentage and smaller ARPU.


Note: Data from 3Q08.


The prepaid stake in Oi (84%) is, however, smaller than the one presented for most América Móvil's operators (Claro in Brazil).


Note: MVNO in the U.S.


Not long ago, prepaid cellular was used mainly to receive calls due to the minute high cost to make a call. Promotions such, as "Ligador" ("The Caller") from Oi, are helping to increase the prepaid minute usage. We can wait prepaid to be available for data services usage in Brazil, as already happens in many countries in Europe.


You could ask:

  • What's going to be the growth limit for the prepaid percentage in Brazil?
  • When will prepaid mobile broadband be available in Brazil?
  • When will prepaid become only a paying method, not being a specific package anymore?
  • For the same minute price and complete service availability, would you prefer prepaid?

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