Anatel released the access data for December 2020, and the annual balance is positive for the broadband sector: there was an increase of 3.1 million fixed internet contracts. Of the large operators, only Claro, TIM and Algar registered growth, while Oi and Vivo ended the year with fewer customers than in 2019.
See December 2020 broadband access data, comparison with the same period in 2019 and market share:
|Company||Hits in 2019||Hits in 2020||Market share in 2020|
|Claro / NET||9.58 million||9.84 million||27.3%|
|Live||7.02 million||6.39 million||17.8%|
|Hi||5.26 million||5.1 million||14.2%|
|Algar||649.71 thousand||698.32 thousand||1.9%|
|TIM||583.66 thousand||655.63 thousand||1.8%|
|Brisanet||351.4 thousand||624.31 thousand||1.7%|
|Other small providers||9.2 million||11.1 million||35.2%|
Small providers lead growth
While large operators had timid numbers, small providers were the protagonists of broadband growth in 2020 in Brazil: together, they added 3.5 million accesses during the year.
Most connections are made using optical fiber, with 72.8%, followed by radio (15.6%) and metallic cables (7%). Small providers are important because they bring connectivity to areas neglected by operators like Claro, Oi, TIM and Vivo – in these places, the big ones do not have coverage or still use old technologies.
Of the small providers, the biggest highlight is the Brisanet, which operates in Northeastern states. The operator ended the year 2020 with 624 thousand accesses, an increase of 273 thousand in the annual comparison. If it continues at this pace, the company may overtake TIM and Algar, which are considered by Anatel as large companies.
Claro NET Virtua maintained leadership and grew little
Even though it was one of the most complained operators during the beginning of the pandemic, Claro continues to lead broadband with 9.84 million modems, up 0.26 million compared to 2019.
Most connections are made with coaxial cable (DOCSIS), which represent 94.3% of all accesses. Optical fiber is the solution used in new cities and is present in 4.7% of modems.
Incidentally, most of Claro’s additions are in cities with fiber; in coaxial cable, the company grew 0.07 million accesses.
Vivo lost internet customers, but grows on fiber
Vivo’s situation is less comfortable: the company lost many customers connected with xDSL technology and ended the year with fewer accesses than in December 2019.
Fiber broadband increased by 0.9 million accesses, which was not enough to contain disconnections from metallic customers. There are already more customers with Vivo Fibra than xDSL, with a difference of 0.6 million between technologies.
Oi Fibra added 1.4 million customers in 2020
Oi also had growth with optical fiber in 2020: between January and December there was an increase of 1.4 million customers connected with FTTH. On the other hand, the shutdown of xDSL left the balance in the negative: the company disconnected 1.6 million accesses by metallic cables.
The company, which is undergoing a judicial reorganization process, sold the mobile unit to competitors Claro, TIM and Vivo for R $ 16.5 billion, and divided the fiber business into another neutral network company.
In the past, Oi’s vice president of customers, Bernardo Winick, revealed that only 20% of the operator’s fiber base are customers who have been migrated from copper – that is, 80% of accesses are new subscriptions. Tele’s projection is to end 2021 with 4 million customers and 94 new cities.