Brazil’s Broadband Picks Up Speed and Users

By Narayan Ammachchi

The number of broadband connections in Brazil rose to 25.5 million in 2012, with more carriers luring consumers with high-speed Internet services, according to a survey conducted by the IDC.

The research firm, whose study was sponsored by Cisco, stated that the figure was not inclusive of connections made over smartphones.  Given the report, Brazil has 35 mobile connections for every 100 fixed-line connections.

“Fixed-line data connections include two new definitions: Broadband 2.0, for speeds of 2.0 Mbps or over; and Broadband 1.0, for connections between 128 Kbps and 2 Mbps,” says Cisco, adding that connections of 2 Mbps and over are considered the minimum speed for enjoying what the Internet has to offer.

Interestingly, Cisco says, average speeds rose 148 Kbps between January and June 2012 to an average 4.88 Mbps.  The main reason behind this increase was changes in speeds introduced by service providers aiming to meet Internet user profiles, where streaming, collaboration and social media are increasing.

Compared with other Latin American countries involved in the survey, Brazilian average speeds are second only to Chile, with 6.22 Mbps during the survey period.

In Brazil, the report says, Broadband 2.0 fixed-line connections grew 11.5% between January and June 2012, almost three times as fast as Broadband 1.0, totaling 9.2 million connections, or penetration of 4.7% for each 100 inhabitants.  Broadband 2.0 represents 52.7% of fixed-line broadband connections in Brazil, 40% of which are 10 Mbps or more.

Cisco predicts that Brazil will have more than 39.2 million fixed (broadband 1.0 and 2.0) and mobile connections by the end of 2016.  Of these, mobile will represent 31.5% and fixed-line connections 69.3%. Two out of every three fixedline connections will be Broadband 2.0.

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“Brazil should be targeting an increase in broadband speeds and quality, and everyone should be shouldering this responsibility: the government, operators and technology companies,” says Anderson André, director of Cisco Brazil.

Cisco says xDSl connections continue to dominate the Brazilian market, up 8.2% during the survey period to 11.5 million connections.  Together, xDSL and cable modem connections represent 95.5% of all fixed-line connections.

Given the survey, there are over 6.1 million mobile subscriptions, representing 3.1% of the population.  3G subscriptions rose 10.6% to over 6.1 million as of June 2012.