Survey: More Brazilians Use Mobile Phones to Go Online
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Survey: More Brazilians Use Mobile Phones to Go Online

By Alana Gandra
Agência Brasil

Survey: More Brazilians Use Mobile Phones to Go Online

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A survey released this week by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) on internet access and television and cellphones for personal use confirms what had been suggested by other studies by the same institute: access to the internet, the replacement of old-style cathode ray tube (CRT) TV sets, and owning a mobile phone are on the rise in the country.

The study surveyed 211,344 permanent private households across 3.5 thousand municipalities and also reveals that more and more Brazilians are using their cellphones to go online.

Conducted in the last quarter of 2016, the survey found that, of the 69.3 million permanent private households in Brazil, a mere 2.8% (1.9 million) did not have a television sets. The rate is highest in the North—6.3%.

In the 67.373 million of homes with a TV set, the devices were reported to add up to 102,633, 36.6% of which CRT sets and 63.4% slim.

Maria Lúcia Vieira, the economist who coordinated the study, told Agência Brasil that CRT sets are expected to lower in number, as they are no longer produced. They are being replaced with slim types, like LED, LCD and plasma sets.

The purchase power of the population in the Southeast, South, and Central-West accounts for the higher percentage of slim sets in these regions. “They're more recent types, and more expensive,” she explained.


The research also found that computers can be found in 45.3% of permanent private households, and tablets in only 15.1%. “Comparing the North and Northeast to the South and Southeast, they're rather different thresholds,” Maria Lúcia remarked.

In the South and Southeast, 53.5% and 54.2% of households were seen to have computers respectively. For the North and Northeast, in turn, these figures didn't reach 30%. “It also has to do with the price of more expensive equipment,” she added.

Mobile Phones

As for telephones in the household, the survey reports that 33.6% of the homes had a landline telephone in 2016. This number goes to 92.6% when it comes to cell phones. Maria Lúcia noted the internet was accessed through cell phones in all regions.

“Over 90% of the people accessing the internet use their cell phones. And it's highest in the North (98.8%) and Northeast (97.8%), as it's where there are fewer computers.”

Regarding why mobile phones are used for going online, 94.2% of respondents said using apps to send non-email text and video messages, followed by 76.4% who said watching videos, including shows, series, and films. Factors like portability and ease of use were mentioned as contributing to sending messages quickly.

All across the country, 41.104 million Brazilians did not have cell phones for their personal use—the equivalent of 22.9% of the population aged ten or older. In 88.2% of the cases, reasons for not having a cell phone included: high price (25.9%), lack of interest (22.1%), use of somebody else's phone (10.6%), and not knowing how to use the device (19.6%).

Mobile phones for personal use is reported to grow until the age group of 25- to 29-year-olds (approximately 88.6%), and takes a downward trend afterwards. As for internet access, Maria Lúcia said that the highest percentage was observed in the group of people aged 18 to 19. She concluded that people are using their cell phones more and more for internet, even though computers are still used for that purpose. “Ease of use helps. Cell phones are always at hand,” she added.

Translated by Fabrício Ferreira | Edited by: Kleber Sampaio / Nira Foster
(c) 2018 Empresa Brasil de Comunicação S/A - EBC