Broadband accesses: Will mobile surpass fixed?


Brazil finished 2008 with 10 million fixed broadband accesses (more details) and 2.8 million mobile 3G broadband accesses (more details).


Kept the current growth for fixed broadband (29.8% in 2008), it's going to take a long time for Brazil to reach the densities found in the U.S. or in European and Asian countries (> 20 accesses/100 inhab.). Brazil finished 2008 with a density of 5.26 accesses/100 inhab. for fixed broadband.


In this climate, mobile broadband turns out to be an alternative for the expansion of broadband access among a larger portion of the population.


Mobile broadband accesses tend to have a bigger coverage when compared to fixed broadband and offer mobility as an advantage for the client. The fixed broadband accesses offer higher speeds and tend to have more affordable prices.


Backhaul territorial expansion, previewed in the Brazilian Government's broadband program, may represent an opportunity for operators and manufactures to offer mobile broadband access in an aggressive way for cheaper price for lower income classes.


Mobile broadband accesses already overcame fixed ones in countries such as Japan, Italy, Korea, Australia and Portugal.



It's important to emphasize, however, that lots of accesses classified as mobile broadband aren't effectively being used.


In Portugal, for example, are counted as mobile broadband:

  • Potential Accesses: quantity of Chips (SIM cards) that, since the commercial launching of the service, effectuated (at least once) authentication or register in the mobile operator's net, being enable to use any service of the 3G net and weren't disabled.
  • Active Accesses in the period: Accesses that, in the report period, effectuated (at least once) authentication or register in the mobile operator's net being enable to use any service of the 3G net.

On Dec/08, the Potential Accesses in Portugal (4.3 million) represented 29% of the total of cellulars, while the Active Accesses on the same month (1.3 million) represented 8.6%.


In other words, the existence of mobile broadband accesses is the first step, but it isn't enough. It's necessary to stimulate it's effective use.


In Brazil, at least in this beginning of 3G implementation, a greater use is guaranteed by the big quantity of data terminals (3G modems) which represented 48% of the 3.2 million mobile broadband accesses in Feb/09.


You could ask:

  • Will mobile accesses expand broadband offer in Brazil?
  • Will 3G be the leader technology of broadband in Brazil?
  • When will LTE be implemented in Brazil?
  • What's the space for WiMax? What about PLC?
  • Will mobile broadband accesses surpass fixed? When?

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