For years, the headlines about mobile penetration growth in Brazil have been focused on the net growth numbers. However there is an unreported huge number of mobile subscriptions that are discontinued in Brazil every year.
Along with net growth data, the Brazilian Agency of Telecommunications Anatel, also reports churn rate per operator. Churn rate is the percentage of customers that cancel their service over a given period of time.
In plain English this means that Oi and TIM lost almost half of their subscribers in 2012.
Churn in Absolute Numbers
The churn rate in Brazil is strongly influenced by the high pre-paid ratio of mobile subscriptions in Brazil.
The reported year over year net growth from 2011 to 2012 was 19.4 Million mobile subscriptions. However the gross number of new subscriptions for the same period was 138.6 million subscriptions. We can conclude that 119.2 million mobile subscriptions were discontinued in the same time period, totalling 328 500 subscriptions per day.
NB: The numbers in this post are slightly simplified and only includes statistics from the 4 largest mobile operators in Brazil. Their combined market share is 99.2% of the Brazilian market. More information
If you are interested in analyzing the data, you can download the spreadsheet from our OneDrive account. I would also love to have your comments and feedback in the form below.