In Brazil, mobile telephony can only be provided by telecommunication operators authorized by the National Telecommunication Agency – ANATEL.
Currently, the major operators are CLARO, OI, TIM and VIVO. Together, their coverage area reaches every city in Brazil. In addition to the aforementioned operators, CTBC and Sercomtel coverage areas reach specific regions, and NEXTEL is starting to provide nationwide coverage.
Brazil’s telephone network is based on the GSM and WCDMA (3G) technologies.
Since December 2013, the four major national operators provide 4G (LTE) access to the host-cities and sub-host-cities of the 2014 World Cup. Coverage is expanding, check the timetable on Anatel´s site (in Portuguese).
Utilizing mobile telephony in Brazil
Foreign visitors to Brazil can utilize mobile telephony services in two ways:
Intenational Roaming, which is provided with nationwide coverage.
Prepaid Sim Cards, which can be purchased from any mobile operator. Visitors need a valid passport in order to purchase Sim Cards. Credit recharge can be done through several channels such as supermarkets, lottery establishments, operators point-of-sale, and newspaper kiosks, among others.
Frequency bands and technologies for mobile telephony in Brazil
* The 4G technology in Brazil operates in 2.5 GHz frequency band, therefore, the use of mobile phones which work on this frequency is required to access this network.