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Brazil Mobility Spotlight

Brazil Mobility Spotlight

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Published by Dan Tree Swinhoe

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Published by: Dan Tree Swinhoe on Aug 18, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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South America
Mobility in Brazil
 The Brazilian mobile device market is booming. Mobile phone penetration levels are reported to be well over 100%[Source: Wireless Intelligence]. However, a 2011 Nielsen report into global youth mobile ownership shows the country
has a high level of multiple subscriptions among the younger generation, which have skewed the true gures. Despite
the size of this market, mobility in the workplace has yet to be investigated. To rectify this, in June we interviewed a
select group of 33 IT and business professionals to gain an insight into Brazilian mobility within the ofce. The results,
though small, help provide a greater understanding of business mobile use in Brazil.
“% of Brazilians who own a smartphone”,
[source: IDG Connect & US Media Consulting]
Business & IT professionals
[work and/or personal]National average
Findings: A Picture of Smartphones
Nationally smartphone adoption is low, around the 15% mark [Source: US Media Consulting], yet within our select
study, the gure rose to almost 90%. This sample though relatively small, helps paint a picture of the business
environment within Brazil, and should pave the way for future research in this area.Just under half of participants only owned a personal phone, while 40% had both. A surprisingly high number (15%)only owned a work phone, and that only one participant did not have any sort of mobile device is indicative of Brazil’swholesome adoption of mobile phones in general. Android proved the most popular choice across the survey, but as abusiness choice the split was far more evenly divided. Of those that had both a work and personal phone, half ownedthe same type of device for both.
“Brazil’s mobile subcription rate - end 2011: 125%, Predicted - end 2012: 145%”,
[source: Wireless Intelligence & Budde]
“% of business and IT professionals don’t own a personal phone” 
, [source: IDG Connect]
South America
Findings: A Picture of Tablets
We found that tablet ownership overall was surprisingly high;the national ownership rate lies around the 12% mark accordingto UM, but our research shows around half of businessprofessionals owned such a device. However, the vast majorityare for personal use, not work. We found that none of theparticipants only owned a work tablet, and very few own both. There was very little difference between brand choices, with avery slight preference for Apple. Overall there was a varied spread of IT stack combination, but personal devices were far more common than work devices, and tablets are yet to make their way into the workplace in a meaningful way. However, this research doessuggest a growing adoption of these devices among the business community and mirrors the trend in the wider public, just at a much faster rate.
While national smartphone adoptionis around 15%, within our study this
gure rose to almost 100%.For tablets the gure rose from 12%to 50%.
  A  n  d  r  o   i  d   i   P  a  d   K    i  n  d   l  e
“Do you own a work tablet?” 
[source: IDG Connect]
“Do you own a personal tablet?” 
[source: IDG Connect]
“Personal tablet ownership” 
[source: IDG Connect]
“% that own smartphones” 
[source: IDG Connect]
Work phoneownership:Personal phoneownership:
   i   P   h  o  n  e  A  n  d  r  o   i  d   B   l  a  c   k    B  e  r  r  y  O   t   h  e  r
Personal phoneWork phone
“Work/personal phone breakdown” 
[source: IDG Connect]
of whichof which
South America
Buoyed by the news that 3G subscriptions grew by 99% last year, the government recently looked ahead to 4G,raising 2.93 billion reals ($1.4 billion) in an auction of wireless airways to mobile operators. The winning bids need to
have infrastructure in place by April for the host cities of next year’s Confederations Cup, and the end of next year forthe cities involved with the 2014 World Cup. Also a good base for e-commerce is the sheer number of mobile phone owners. Penetration stands at well over100% (around 253 million subscriptions), and looks set to reach around 145% by the end of the year. However,distribution isn’t even, with people owning multiple phones a common occurrence. Just like across the world, it’s theyoung who lead ownership and use.It’s not all positive though. Telecoms companies run municipal monopolies, as shown by the fact of the entire areacovered by mobile internet; only 12.6% of municipalities havetwo or more competing market operators. Price is also an issue,as currently Brazil has one of the highest phone rates in theworld. And although they are set to fall, this won’t be until 2014or even later. These high costs are why nearly 80% of mobileowners opt to use a pre-paid plan.Some interesting research by Opera showed 62% of the
respondents said they would be willing to spend up to R$10
on a monthly basis for mobile broadband, 55% would like touse their mobile devices for shopping. If mobile operators take this on board and don’t price themselves out, theintroduction of 4G could be the moment that mobile internet takes off.
Telecoms companies run municipal
monopolies; of the entire area
covered by mobile internet, only
12% of municipalities have two or more competing market operators.
[Source: Forbes]
Brazil is also massive on social media. With over 50 million Facebook users, it has the second highest number inthe world after the US. A critical difference however is Brazil is only at 27% penetration, meaning there’s still a hugemarket out there to sign up. According to Socialbakers, over seven million have joined in the last three months, anincrease of 15%. Brazil also wins silver for number of Twitter subscribers, overtaking Japan at the start of the yearwith a massive 33.3 million accounts, though the land of the rising sun remains more active on the micro-bloggingsite. Brazilians are also far better at engaging with content through the likes of comments than most other countries,and are more likely to follow user-generated content. Total populationOnline populationFacebook usersFacebook penetrationof total populationFacebook penetrationof online population
Sources: Socialbakers, Wikipedia, Nielsen,
Internet world stats [gures as of Aug 2012]
In March Forbes called e-commerce Brazil’s most promising sector. And it’s not hard to see why. According to Nielsen,
internet users reached 80 million by the end of last year, the fth highest in the world and achieving a 42% penetration.
 Though this is a good base, current broadband connection is very low and many areas, especially rural ones, are
lacking proper coverage. This is an issue which the government and providers are addressing with new bre-optics and
undersea cables.

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