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To Expand Online Access, Brazil Goes Mobile

In 2011, Brazil had more mobile internet users than fixed broadband users

Brazil’s economy is on the rise, and as consumers’ incomes increase, so does their use of the internet and mobile technology, according to a new eMarketer report, “Brazil Online: An Increasingly Mobile Market.” Increased purchasing power, improved telecommunications infrastructure and lower prices have helped internet penetration grow quickly in the country. But broadband in the home is still not widespread, at least compared to the US and other developed countries, and will not reach 50% of households even by 2016.

eMarketer estimates that 86.4 million internet users, or 42% of Brazil’s population, will be online in 2012. Much of that growth has been due to Brazil’s general economic expansion, but the increase has also been driven by a broadening menu of services, and price points, being offered by internet service providers.

The transition to connectivity still faces hurdles, though. The recent rapid growth in the number of internet users has strained capacity and choked data speeds. Brazil’s telecommunication regulatory agency, Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações (ANATEL), reported that in 2011 actual fixed broadband speeds averaged 10% of contracted terms. For 2012, ANATEL will require providers to deliver average speeds of at least 60%, upping it to 80% in 2014.

The effort to expand and improve online access has largely been spurred by two upcoming world events. The entire economy is poised for the promise and challenge of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, which will put the country’s telecommunications infrastructure to the test.

And while the Brazilian government pushes to make fixed broadband more widely available, consumers in the country are tapping the mobile internet in large numbers.

eMarketer estimates that in 2011, for the first time, the number of people accessing the mobile internet exceeded those with fixed household access. And the dominance of the mobile internet is expected to continue in Brazil over the next four years.


The full report, “Brazil Online: An Increasingly Mobile Market,” also answers these key questions:

  • What does Brazil’s recent economic growth mean for internet access and usage?
  • How are internet users in Brazil accessing the web?
  • How does Brazil’s internet usage compare to other markets?
  • What roles are the government, the private sector and consumers playing in increasing connectivity in Brazil?

This report is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. Total Access clients, log in and view the report now.


Check out today’s other articles, “Mobile Wallets or Fully Digital Wallets?” and “Travel Apps Lead Industries in Usage Growth.”

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