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Brazil

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The telecom scenario in Brazil is a bit chaotic. So, keep in mind the following points before travelling to Brazil:


  • The tariffs for voice calls shown below may vary from state to state, due to tax differences in various states.
  • Historically, for a foreigner to subscribe to a cellular service in Brazil, a CPF (cadastro de pessoa fisica) was required, that corresponds to a TAX ID or Social Security Number (for some countries). The procedure for issuing a CPF can be found at: http://www.receita.fazenda.gov.br, or at any Post Office Station (Correios). Starting from September 2012, mobile networks are supposed to accept passports from foreigners as seen on the Ministry of Communications website (you might need to use Google translate): http://www.mc.gov.br/telecomunicacoes/noticias/25704-turistas-estrangeiros-poderao-comprar-chips-de-celular-apresentando-passaporte
  • The simcard is also referred in Brazil as "chip" and costs around R$10,00 with no credit. You can refill it almost everywhere (the operator stores, drugstores, supermarkets, newsstands, convenience stores, post offices).
  • Some operators accept data navigation on modems without signup to subscribe a prepaid dataplan directly at browser (like Tim, Claro and Vivo). All operators seem to accept tethering.
  • Some operators offer free access to social networks (usually Facebook, but Twitter may be included as well), so keep in mind that access to a social network may not translate into a fully functional data plan.
  • The majority of telecom operators have operatives that don't speak fluent English in their callcentres. So, if you need support, the best way is visiting any big mall and look for telcos store (Claro, TIM, Vivo and Oi). There's always someone who can speak English or at least someone who can try.
  • The data network quality can vary in some states. For example: in the Northeast and Northern regions, the infrastructure can be poor in certain states. In cities that are densely populated, you may experience some slowdowns.
  • Vivo and Claro have faster data speeds (before speed caps), but TIM is cheaper and can handle text apps (email, Twitter, Whatsapp...) and navigation apps such as Google Maps.
  • When using a carrier, ask about promotions.
  • The governamental regulator of telecommunications in Brasil is ANATEL (http://www.anatel.gov.br).
  • Brazil works with GSM, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA, HSPA+ and some states have iDEN radio coverage. Also, LTE 2600 (band 7) is being implemented on major cities.
  • LTE 1800 Mhz (band 3) are implemented in center of Rio de Janeiro by Nextel and by TIM in 4 cities (Búzios, Angra dos Reis, Cabo Frio and Campos dos Goytacazes).
  • A bit of trivia: Brazil also has CDMA1x and EV-DO rev0 networks, remnants of the first cellular operators. (the few still active CDMA networks in Brazil are used only to landlines via mobile network in a few cities and for few public phones in rural areas, however operators also offer it via GSM).

Frequencies Edit

Operator 2G 3G HSDPA (MHz) 4G LTE (MHz)
Vivo 850, 1800, 1900 2100 2600 (B7) FDD-LTE, 700*
Claro 900, 1800 850, 2100 2600 (B7) FDD-LTE, 700*
TIM 900, 1800 850, 2100 2600 (B7) FDD-LTE, 1800 (B3)**, 700*
Oi 900, 1800 2100 2600 (B7) FDD-LTE, 700*
Nextel iDen 800 MHz 2100 1800 (B3) FDD-LTE ***
  • 700 = will be employed in the future (2018 or later)-;
  • TIM LTE in 1800 (B3) only avaliable in 4 citis in interior of Rio de Janeiro, other cities use 2600 (B7).
  • Nextel LTE in 1800 (B3) only avaliable in center of Rio de Janeiro, in slow expansion to the city of Niterói / RJ (across the Guanabara bay).

MVNO in Brazil Edit

MVNO are practically useless, in Brazil are almost exclusively for M2M companies (tracking cars / fleets and portable credit card machines).

The only MVNO serving natural persons is the "Porto Seguro Conecta", which uses the TIM network (without access to 4G network) and is focused on providing benefits to customers of insurance "Porto Seguro".

Virgin Mobile is expected to start operations in Brazil (using Vivo network operator) since 2012, in early 2015, though the authorization of the regulatory agency has not yet begun and no one knows when (or if) it will start.

TIMEdit

Tim-amplia-subsidios
In general you shouldn't have to think too much about data on TIM. When I got my TIM Sim card data just worked out of the box. I barely even noticed the money it deducted from my account. I think the 10mb plan shown below was the one I was automatically put on. (24-March-2012)Edit

Homepage: http://www.tim.com.br

2G

3G

4G (LTE)

900, 1800 MHz 850, 2100 MHz 1800 MHz, 2600 MHz national.

GPRS EDGE UMTS HSDPA HSPA LTE

TIM invest on LTE Band 3 (1800MHz) in 4 cities of Rio de Janeiro State (Búzios, Angra dos Reis, Cabo Frio e Campos dos Goytacazes), but use LTE Band 7 on capitals.

Smartphone packages:Edit
  • 10mb for 24 hours: 0,60R$/day with 500kbps speed: after surpassing 10mb the speed may be capped to 50kbps without any excess tariff. No subscription needed, just an Infinity Pré simcard. 
  • 10mb for 24 hours with unlimited SMS package: 0,75R$/day with 500kbps speed: after surpassing 10mb the speed may be capped to 50kbps without any excess tariff. No subscription needed, just an Infinity Pré simcard. (This is the pre activated plan). 
  • 30mb for 24 hours: 1,00R$/day with 500kbps speed: after surpassing 10mb the speed may be capped to 50kbps without any excess tariff. No subscription needed, just an Infinity Pré simcard. 
  • 30mb for 24 hours with unlimited SMS package: 1,25R$/day with 500kbps speed: after surpassing 10mb the speed may be capped to 50kbps without any excess tariff. No subscription needed, just an Infinity Pré simcard. 
  • 100mb for 24 hours with 5mbps speed: 1,99R$/day with 500kbps speed: after surpassing 10mb the speed may be capped to 50kbps without any excess tariff. No subscription needed, just an Infinity Pré simcard.

* In 2015 all the pre-paid plans have become 1mbps with LTE (The LTE was incluided) 

Modem packages:

Infinity Web Pré Modem:

  • 100mb for 24 hours: R$1,99/day with up to 5mbps minimum, speed (contract inserting a new bought chip on modem, and subscribe, or call to *222 and go to option 5 at URA menu for subscribe in plan). This plan works with 4G LTE 2600Mhz modems and smartphones.


Max speed: 1mbps up to 5mbps, depending on the region or the dataplan contract.


Voice Plans:

TIM Infinity Pré:

  • 0,25R$ per call in on-net calls valid for local and long distance on-net calls, using the operator code 41 (in some especific area codes, the first call of the day it's free. Consult the client attendment for details).
  • 0,60R$ per call in off-net calls for fixed landline phones, valid only for local calls.
  • 1,29R$ per minute in off-net mobile calls.
  • 0,75R$ per day to send any number of SMS messages to any carrier phone (or 1,25 with 30mb package).
  • R$0,20 per minute for international calls for United States (mobile or fixed phones).
  • R$0,50 per minute, for international calls for Portugal, Spain, Argentina, and Italy (fixed phones).
  • R$0,99 per minute for international calls for Germany, Chile and Mexico. (fixed phones).
  • R$1,99 per minute for international calls for the rest of Europe
  • R$6,99 per minute for international calls for Asia, Cuba, and Oceania.

You can verify your remaining credits, calling to *222# or *767# for promotions.

Tim Beta Basic:

Paying R$30 after buying a Infinity pre simcard, the client can subscribe to TIM Beta plan. Anyway, the one diference between the plans, are:

  • R$0,75 per day (first call) in on-net calls valid for local and long distance on-net calls, using the operator code 41 (in some especific area codes, the first call of the day it's free. Consult the client attendment for details).
  • R$0,75/day for internet access with 100mb/day quota (promotionally, the quota of datapack its 100mb/day in some states)


Not all stores activate this plan in client line. So, we recommend activate the Infinity plan instead.

(until mid 2013 TIM Beta has true unlimited data plain).

Tim Visitor:

This plan can only be activated by foregeins using a valid passaport in any TIM store. The tariffs are:

  • R$0,50 per minute for any local fixed phone, cellphone and long distance calls using operator code 41.
  • R$1,00 per minute for international calls for any destiny using 41 operator code
  • R$0,50 per unlimite SMS sent to others operators
  • Internet data package (activated at first use) at R$ 25,00/week, with 1,5Gb quota, and 4G LTE 2600 with unlimited speed access. After surpasses the quota, the internet access it's blocked until the subscribing of new internet package.

Tim Infinity Turbo 7:

To subscribe on this plan, you need to buy a special topup of R$7,00 that allow the subscribe of the plan (for 1 week). The tariffs are:

  • 350 minutes/day for any TIM phone, local or long distance, using 41 operator code
  • 450 SMS for any TIM phone
  • 150 SMS for any operator
  • 10mb/day of internet access

Roaming:

For calls made outside of your DDD registry area: 0,25R$/call only (for intranetwork calls), or the cost of call, if the call is made for outside of TIM network.

For calls received outside of your DDD registry area: 1,43R$/call only (any call)

Oi Edit

Hotsite for visitors: http://www.oi.com.br/

GPRS EDGE HSDPA LTE

Currently, for the World Cup, Oi Móvel has released the Oi Prepaid Kit that includes Wi-Fi hotspots (more

Oi-1-

at http://www.oi.com.br/visitor).

Data feature packs for smartphones:

  • R$0,75/day of use, with 10mb quota. After, the speed caps to 50kbps. Automatic subscribe at first access (this package also offer unlimited SMS to any operator).
  • R$2,90/week, with 30mb quota. After, the speed caps to 50kbps. To subscribe, send a SMS with "oi" word to 35007.
  • R$9,90/month, with 100mb quota. After, the speed caps to 50kbps. To subscribe, send a SMS with "oi" word to 35030.


Data feature packs for modems and tablets:

  • R$1,89 - Daily package with 50mb quota. After, the speed caps to 50kbps. To subscribe, go to a service attendment center.
  • R$9,90 - Weekly package with 100mb quota. After, the speed caps to 50kbps. To subscribe, go to a service attendment center.
  • R$34,90 - Montly package with 350mb quota. After, the speed caps to 50kbps. To subscribe, go to a service attendment center.
  • R$54,90 - Montly package with 500mb quota. After, the speed caps to 50kbps. To subscribe, go to a service attendment center.


Max speed: up to 1mbps.

Voice plans:

  1. National (including São Paulo state):

Tudo por um dia:

  • R$0,10/day - Refilling your line with credits from 13R$ up to 24,99R$, you can make calls to any Oi fixo (landline) or Oi Móvel (intranetwork) calls local, or national using the 31's operator code, at 15 minutes limit per day.
  • R$0,10/day - Refilling your line with credits from 25R$, you can make calls to any Oi fixo (landline) or Oi Móvel (intranetwork) calls local, or national using the 31's operator code, at 30 minutes limit per day.
  • R$2,00/min extranetworks mobile calls.
  • R$0,75/day - Unlimited SMS + 10mb/day.


2015 Pre-paid plans:

  • R$0,50 - 300 Minutes for local and long distance intranetwork calls for Oi movel and Oi Fixed phones, using 31's carrier code.
  • R$0,99 - 300 300 Minutes for local and long distance intranetwork calls for Oi movel and Oi Fixed phones, using 31's carrier code (with 10MB internet + 530 sms + Oi Wifi on city)

The plans can change in outhers states

Oi Galera:

  • R$0,99/day - 60 minutes for local and long distance intranetwork calls for Oi movel and Oi Fixed phones, using 31's carrier code. Includes 10mb/day for internet access (caps to 32kbps); 530SMS package/day (30 for all operators, and 500 for intranetwork)
  • R$6,50/week - 480 minutes for Oi in Brazil; 3.710 sms and 80MB/week internet access
  • R$26,90/Month 2400 minutos for Oi in Brazil; 15.900 sms and 250/month package internet access.

You can subscribe at this plan signing a wait list on Oi's site. After the fulfilling of list, the SIM card is sent to the home of customer.

Roaming:

  • R$0,99 per minute - 20 Countries ( United States and Germany incluided)
  • R$1,99 per minute - 7 Countries (Angola and Sweden)

All the plans in Oi Network use 4G

A faster way, (from 18/3/2014), it's pay a tax of 10R$ and convert a regular prepaid plan to Oi Galera at any Oi stores.

VivoEdit

Vivo-bluelogo
Homepage: http://www.vivo.com.br/Edit

2G

3G

4G (LTE)

850, 1800, 1900 MHz 850, 2100 MHz 2600 MHz
Data feature packsEdit

GPRS EDGE UMTS HSDPA HSPA+ LTE (band 7)'

  • Vivo Internet Diária at 0,99/day, with 15mb quota at 300Kbps (after, the speed cap up to 32kbps). (This is the pre activated plan).
  • Datapack for smartphones at 11,90R$, with 200mb per month at 1Mbps , (after, the shoud be speed cap up to 32kbps when reaches limit).
  • Vivo internet Semanal, at 2,99/week, with 40mb quota (after, the speed cap up to 32kbps).
  • Datapack for modems and tablets at 2,99R$ for 2 days, with 150mb (after, the speed caps to 128kbps, until the next due).

Max speed: 1mbps.


Subscribing:

To subscribe to the packages above, you need to:

Vivo on: Call to the customer service, and request the vivoon promotion, or enter on customer area on Vivo's site, and subscribe on there.

Data bundles: You may access the customer area on site to subscribe, or send a SMS message to 8200 number, with the following text:

  • Smartphone datapack - Send a SMS to 1515 with the word "internet" in text field, and wait the confirmation response. At the first activation, the customer gets 15 days for free in package. For all smartfones datapack, you can get a 10-day free use sending the word "gratis" to 1515, before contracting any datapack.
  • Semanal datapack -  Send a SMS to 1515 with the word "semana" in text field, and wait the confirmation response. 

Other information

Voice Plans:

Vivo ON:

1. Rest of Brazil

Package with voice/sms/data and intranetwork bonuses.

  • 1,39R$ per minute, for intra, extranet calls, and fixed line phones.
  • Bonuses of 125R$ to use with VivoON clients network, plus (18R$ package)
  • Bonuses of 125R$ to use with any Vivo client at local intranetwork calls (18R$ package)
  • 50mb of quota to internet general access
  • Bonuses of 255R$ to use with VivoON clients network, plus (25R$ package)
  • Bonuses of 255R$ to use with any Vivo client at local intranetwork calls (25R$ package)
  • 200mb of quota to internet general access


Vivo tudo package:

This packages deducts 6,90R$/week from your topup charge, and give the following package to use:

PR e SC states:

  • 300 minutes of call to any Vivo cellphone on Brazil (using 15's operator code)
  • Unlimited SMS to vivo cellphones
  • 0,05/min the call that exceeds the quota
  • 75mb/week of quota for internet access (caps to 32kbps after reaching limit)
  • 0,50/min the call to local fixed phones
  • 0,05/SMS to other operators

Northeast and North region:

  • Unlimited minutes and calls  to any Vivo cellphone on Brazil (using 15's operator code)
  • Unlimited SMS to vivo cellphones
  • 100mb/week of quota for internet access (caps to 32kbps after reaching limit)
  • 0,50/min the call to local fixed phones
  • 0,05/SMS to other operators

Rest of Brazil:

  • 100 minutes of call to any Vivo cellphone on Brazil (using 15's operator code)
  • Unlimited SMS to vivo cellphones
  • 0,05/min the call that exceeds the quota
  • 75mb/week of quota for internet access (caps to 32kbps after reaching limit)
  • 0,50/min the call to local fixed phones
  • 0,05/SMS to other operators

Vivo Sempre:

Northeast region (excl. Bahia and Sergipe states):

  • 0,25R$ at day for local and long distance intranet calls using 15's operator code and unlimited SMS package.
  • 0,10/minute for local fixed phone calls.
  • 0,25/day at day for internet access

Rest of Brazil:

  • 0,05/minute for local and long distance intranet calls using 15's operator code and unlimited SMS package.
  • 0,35/minute for local fixed phone calls


You can verify your remaining credits, calling to *8000, and wait the SMS confirmation, or send a SMS to 8000 number with the "SALDO" word.

ClaroEdit

ClaroLogo
2G 3G 4G (LTE)
900, 1800 MHz 850, 2100 MHz 2600 MHz

Data feature packsEdit

Packages for modems:

  • Pacote modem 1 dia - 1 day package: 1,99R$ with 80mb (caps the speed to 64kbps when reaches the limit). This plan works with 4G LTE modems and smartphones.


Max Speed: 3mbps

Packages for smartphones:

  • Pacote diário 10MB - 0,75R$ per-day in case of usage, with 10mb/day (and 300mb/month) of quota (hangs access when the limit is reached). (This is the pre activated plan).
  • Pacote diário 20MB - R$0,99 per-day in case of usage, with 20mb/day (and 600mb/month) of quota (hangs access when the limit is reached).
  • Pacote Internet Smartfone 30 dias - with 225mb quota: 11,90R$ (hangs access when the limit is reached).
  • Pacote Internet Smartfone 30 dias - with 450mb quota: 21,90R$ (hangs access when the limit is reached).


Subscribing:

To subscribe to the packages above, you need to:

For classic databundles:

  • Call the customer service, and ask for datapacks for use in modem.

For Smartphone packages (note: These packages blocks modem connections):

  • Send a SMS with the word "INTERNET" for the 768 number, and wait the confirmation.
  • To agree the blackberry packages, send the word "Pacote" to 769.
  • On the USSD menu, *1052#
  • By SMS on 767

Max speed: up to 5mbps (LTE), depending of plan.

Voice plans:

Claro toda hora + Fala mais Brasil promo Package.

Brazil:

  • 0,25R$ per call for local and long distance on-net calls using the 21's carrier code, to Claro Movel, Claro Fixo (as former Embratel Livre), and Net Fone.
  • 0,60R$ per call for local calls to fixed landline phones.
  • 1,50R$ per minute to offnet mobile calls.
  • 0,50 per day in a unlimited SMS package for any national operator.


Claro Tarifa Zero

  • Unlimited local calls for any Claro Movel phone
  • 0,25/call for any Claro Movel in long distance calls using the 21's operator code
  • 0,25/call for any Claro Fixo and Net Fone local and long distance calls using the 21's operador code
  • 0,70/min for any local landline phone calls

Claro Visitor:

This plan can only be activated by foregeins using a valid passaport in any Claro store. The simcard can be bought for R$ 60,00, and come with the following bundle:

  • 300Mb for use in 3G/4G (LTE 2600Mhz)
  • 40 national SMS for any operator + 40 international SMS
  • 21 minutes for local calls for any phone + 21 minutes for long distance calls for any number, using the 21 operator code
  • Unlimited calls for other Claro Visitor number.

Roaming:

For make calls outside of registry area code: The regular local tariff in receivment, or making calls.

For received calls outside of registry area code: R$0,00/min (free)

CTBC Celular (Algar Telecom)Edit

CTBC-1-

Homepage: www.ctbccelular.com.br

Data feature packs:


EDGE UMTS HSDPA

Plans:

Basic:

With a topup of R$ 15,90/at month, the client can activate the package. The package have 600mb/month. When the limit is reached, the pack it's capped to 64kbps

The voice call tariff follow as bellow:

  • R$0,12/call intra-network calls in the same or other DDD (using 12's operator code), local fixed landline
  • R$0,20/call for any extra-network calls in the same DDD.


Maxspeed: 1mbps or plus

Sercomtel CelularEdit

Logo default2-1-
Homepage: http://www.sercomtelcelular.com.brEdit
Data feature packsEdit

GPRS EDGE UMTS HSDPA

Packages for smartphones:

  • 0,50/day - 1mbps, and cap up to 10mb/day. After, speed falls to 64kbps.

Max speed: up to 1mbps.

Voice plans:

Celular e-Conomico: 0,04/min: intranetwork calls

0,20/min: fixed landline calls

1,39/min: extranetwork calls

Roaming:

Not avaliable.

NextelEdit

Homepage: http://www.nextel.com.br

Data feature packs Edit

iDen (800Mhz) HSDPA (2100Mhz) LTE (Band 3, 1800Mhz)

2G on Nextel are in iDen (Radio Trunking System with Phone capacity), due the Brazilian law only legal entities (or group of people) can acquire if they meet certain legal requirements. (considered SME "Special Mobile Services").

Anyone can acquire 3G / LTE plans in Nextel. (Considered SMP "Personal Mobile Services").

Nextel plans to decommission the iDen system (and use the radio spectrum to deploy LTE) as soon as migrating their radio customers for Prip (virtual rádio trunking) operating via data (3G / 4G / WiFi).

Nextel was the first operator in Brazil to have LTE network in band 3 (1800MHz).

Nextel don't have prepaid plan.

Those who are staying a long period in Brazil, the nextel offers cheapest postpaid plans that large operators.

Smartphone plans: http://www.nextel.com.br/planos/planos-smartphones

Internet only (tablets, modem) plan: http://www.nextel.com.br/planos/internet/para-tablet-ou-modem-3g

In late 2014 the major Brazilian operators started to cut off access to internet after consumption data allowance, until then the pattern was only reduce the access speed.

Nextel is currently the only operator that does not cut access after consumption data allowance, and even in low speed, VoIP services work perfectly.

Nextel customers (theoretically smartphone plan only) can roam in the Vivo network when they are out of Nextel's coverage area, to me worked up within the nextel coverage area, inside Rio de Janeiro Metro Nextel does not have coverage and automatically connected in the vivo network.

The vivo operator network appears as "Nextel R" for Nextel customers.

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