Phone companies in São Paulo
«About Sao Paulo
«Business, Economy and Infrastructure.
Sao Paulo have the best telecom infrastructure in Brazil; however, it is not comparable to the infrastructure of other major world cities.
Until 1999, all telecom services in Sao Paulo and Brazil were rendered by State owned company Telebras (read more about the privatization of telecom in Brazil).
So, Sao Paulo was suffering the consequences of decades of a non-competitive market.
And right after privatization, the scenario didn't change much, because the bidders who won the auction gained two monopolistic markets: the land lines market was chartered to Spanish Telefonica, whereas the mobile market was chartered to Brazilian group BCP, which would later become Claro.
Today (2012), after several other biddings, the market is much more competitive.
All major mobile telecommunication companies have their main offices and datacenters in Sao Paulo. Telefonica still has the biggest share of land lines, but is facing growing competition from other phone and cable companies.
The city has the largest and widest internet broadband in Brazil.
The demand of corporations, Government and home users has led providers to lay more and more fibers, and buy more and more servers.
There are still problems, though.
Technology is not as available and as advanced as in more developed cities.
The leader provider of home broadband connection is Speedy; prices are higher and widths are narrower than in other major cities.
Also the 3G technology has still to improve, both in coverage and in speed. There are talks that the 4G technology will be available for the World Cup 2014, but that's a highly questionable affirmation.
Besides, Telecom companies rank amongst the top in consumers complaining agencies (Telefonica is the leader); problems include quality of services (connection fails are frequent), billing problems, false promises, etc.
Phone companies, like most other companies which render services in Brazil (utilities, banks, shops, etc) suffer with the low education levels of Brazilian workers.
Buying and using a cell phone in Sao Paulo
Like everywhere else in Brazil, buying and using a cell phone is easy and straight forward.
There are cell phone shops everywhere; prices vary much, starting from less than U$ 50.
Most companies (the exception is Vivo) use GSM technology; if your phone works with GSM, and it is not locked, it will work in Brazil.
Notice, however, that stealing cell phones is very common in Brazi; there is a strong black market of stolen phones, which makes them a favorite item among street thieves.
To buy a phone, it is necessary to show a document of identification; a passport will do.
Phones usually come with a chip. You can reload chips at every bakery or drugstore.
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