Brazil closed 2015 with 23 million 4G mobile connections, according to data from GSMA Intelligence, the research arm of the GSMA. 4G connections are expected to reach the 42 million mark by the end of 2016, representing an increase of 87 per cent.
The Brazilian market is the largest in Latin America and had more than 267 million mobile connections in December 2015. 4G access accounted for 9 per cent of this total. The forecast for the end of 2016 is that mobile connections in Brazil will reach 278 million and the percentage of 4G connections will nearly double, reaching more than 15 per cent of the total.
This growth will be driven by increased penetration of smartphones in the country, which is expected to jump from 55 per cent in 2015 to 62 per cent in 2016, despite pressure on prices from the macroeconomic environment. Customers replacing their devices with smartphones and migrating to faster networks will account for a significant portion of new 4G connections. Total 3G and 4G mobile connections are expected to reach 223 million by the end of 2016, an increase of almost 16 per cent compared to 2015, which ended with a combined total of 193 million.
GSMA Intelligence data for Brazil also points to the growth of M2M (machine to machine) connections. Brazil is the largest M2M market in Latin America and had 11.6 million connections at the end of 2015. This figure represents an increase of 16.76 per cent from 2014, which closed with 9.9 million M2M connections. The GSMA Intelligence forecast is that by the end of 2016, the country’s M2M connections will hit 14 million, representing a growth of 20.79 per cent.