Three of the big four mobile operators in Brazil reported customer losses of between 3.16 million and 5.04 million in year to August

The total number of mobile customers in Brazil declined by close to million in the year to August due to the impact of new interconnection rate regulation, Anatel’s latest figures show.

The country was home to 242.17 million mobile connections at the end of August, a slight increase of 0.06% on the previous month but down by 3.93% – or 9.91 million lines – on the same date a year earlier, the regulator announced this week.

The fall comes as a result of gradual reductions in mobile network interconnection tariffs, which in turn meant fewer on-network pricing incentives and a reduction in multiple SIM card ownership, Anatel explained.

Three of the country’s big four mobile operators registered multi-million-customer losses, with more than half of the total market decline coming from one telco: Oi.

Oi, the fourth-largest mobile operator in Brazil, lost 5.04 million mobile lines in the year to the end of August, its total customer base dropping to 42.03 million and its market share slipping to 17.4% from 18.7%.

America Movil overtook TIM to become Brazil’s second-largest player in August, growing its subscriber base by over 150,000 during the month to 60.46 million while TIM registered close to 120,000 losses to reduce its subs base to 60.35 million. The pair lost 3.23 million and 3.16 million connections respectively over the full year.

Market leader Vivo, owned by Telefonica, consolidated its position with the addition of 1.1 million customers over 12 months to take its base to 74.57 million and increasing its market share to 30.8%.

Brazil added 4.39 million new 4G connections in August alone, Anatel said, and 42.16 million over 12 months, almost doubling its 4G base to 88.5 million.

M2M connections grew by 2.25 million to 14.22 million.