Tech Roundup, Feb. 14, 2020 | Small providers revolutionizing Brazil’s internet

. Feb 14, 2020
Tech Roundup Feb. 14, 2020 | Small providers revolutionizing Brazil's internet Photo: Art Alex/Shutterstock

You’re reading The Brazilian Report‘s weekly tech roundup, a digest of the most important news on technology and innovation in Brazil. This week’s topics: how small internet providers are boosting fiber-optic broadband; the boom in job opportunities for the tech sector; how politics turned Brazil’s internet in a less civilized place. 

Small internet providers are taking over Brazilian broadband

Brazil’s small broadband providers exceeded expectations in 2019,

posting growth of 32 percent over the year. As a group, these companies control one-third of the market, which translates into 9.88 million homes. America Movil&#8217;s Claro, the market leader, provides services to 9.58 households on its own. The growth of small operators is fueled by Brazil&#8217;s transition into higher-speed fiber-optic broadband connections, and two-thirds of this segment are controlled by smaller companies. In 2019, fiber optic connections reached 10 million homes—a <a href="">72-percent increase</a> from the previous year.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image"><img loading="lazy" width="726" height="604" src="" alt="internet brazil uneven fixed-broadband connections" class="wp-image-31638" srcset=" 726w, 300w, 610w" sizes="(max-width: 726px) 100vw, 726px" /></figure> <p><strong>Why it matters.</strong> Small providers focus their efforts on Brazil&#8217;s countryside, bringing internet access to areas which have been long forgotten by major players.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Comparing. </strong>Data from Brazil&#8217;s telecom regulators Anatel shows that in the poor Northeastern region—where small providers control 73.3 percent of fiber optic connections—the technology already reaches 36.5 percent of all broadband points. That rate is 32 percent in the richer Southeast.</p> <p><strong>Strategy.</strong> These internet providers are overcoming Goliaths thanks to their laser focus on niche segments and changes in consumer behavior. Big companies often sell TV-phone-internet combos—which come at high prices—while small providers specialize in faster and cheaper internet.&nbsp;</p> <p>The strategy has met success, but not only due to new broadband consumers: the decline of landline telephony and cable TV has played a part, with both falling 10 percent last year.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>One in three of most promising careers in Brazil are in tech</h2> <p>A report by online job board Indeed shows that nearly one-third of careers with the sharpest growth in job offers over the past two years in Brazil are in tech.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Key findings. </strong>While “translator” led the list with growth of 202 percent, careers such as Software Engineer, Front-end Developer, and SAP Consultant all made it into the top 5, with respective growths of 167, 113, and 112 percent. According to Felipe Calbucci, Indeed’s Sales Director, some job opportunities are not filled “perhaps because [they] demand a rare combination of skills, specialized education, and a high level of vision.”</p> <p><strong>Why it matters.</strong> The report is further proof of how <a href="">Brazil&#8217;s education problem hurts productivity</a> and hampers the economy. Despite high unemployment rates, some companies simply can&#8217;t find people for their job vacancies.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>If people cry, sell tissues. </strong>As we reported in our <a href="">December 6, 2019 Tech Roundup</a>, edtechs see this educational gap as an opportunity to cash in. The offer of online courses in countless fields are on a rise—especially targeting lower-income populations.</p> <div class="flourish-embed" data-src="visualisation/1383344"><script src=""></script></div> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Brazil becomes the most “digitally civil” country in Latam, despite worsening index</h2> <p>Brazil has overcome Mexico to become Latin America&#8217;s most “digitally-civil country,” according to Microsoft’s 2020 Digital Civility Report. The company measures the tone of online interactions and negative consequences of exposition to risks such as undesired contact, undesired sexting, frauds and scams, trolling, and mean treatment.</p> <p><strong>Perspective.</strong> The higher a country&#8217;s Digital Civility Index (DCI), the unsafer people feel online. Global DCI has reached 70 percent, its highest ever. Brazil&#8217;s index rose by 2 percentage points to 72 percent. While high, it was significantly lower than its neighboring countries—ranking 15th out of 25 research nations.&nbsp;</p> <p>Mexico and Chile reached 75 percent, while Argentina sat at 76 percent. Colombia and Peru posted the worst scores—80 and 81 percent, respectively, on par with South Africa. When considering the main sources of risks, Latin American pointed out family and friends, while Brazilians pointed out strangers.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Concerns. </strong>Brazil was the country with most politically-related uncivil interactions. Moreover, 71 percent of young internet users said they have been at risk online and 78 percent say they suffered consequences as a result, but only 63 percent said they knew where to ask for help.&nbsp;</p> <h2><strong>Take note</strong></h2> <ul><li><strong>Social media.</strong> A bill presented by Senator Angelo Coronel wants to change Brazil’s Civil Internet Legal Framework to force social media companies to collect users&#8217; taxpayer ID numbers. The move would allow those who spread false information to be identified and punished. “I’m not worried if people will be under control, my concern is to protect the Brazilian society from criminals that act on social media,” said the senator.&nbsp;&nbsp;</li><li><strong>Carnival.</strong> App Carnablocos—created to gather information about all of the street parties during Brazil&#8217;s upcoming Carnival celebrations—has expanded into dating, becoming Carnablocos/Carnacrush. In an interview with newspaper <em>O Globo</em>, the app’s creator, Arthur Marbá, said they aim to reach 150,000 downloads this year. People who have confirmed their presence at the same parties can then chat in advance, but just like in real life, this app-based Carnival love isn&#8217;t set to last: the app will be online for only 2 months.</li><li><strong>Women in Tech.</strong> Google launched the application period for the <em>Cresça com o Google</em>—<em>Women Will </em>event in São Paulo. The company expects to gather 10,000 women at the event on March 13 to receive free training in digital entrepreneurship, negotiation and entrepreneurship techniques, as well as digital tools. <a href="">Click here to apply</a>.</li><li><strong>Raincheck.</strong> The new rounds of the Brazilian Championship of League of Legends (CBLoL) and its second division, the Challenger’s Circuit, as well the Brazilian League of Free Fire (LBFF), were all postponed due to the heavy rains that hit São Paulo this week. The flooding that hit the western part of the city ruined infrastructure and equipment at both Riot Studios (where the LoL championships take place) and Quanta Studios (home to the LBFF). CBLoL and the Challenger’s Circuit are expected to return on February 29 and March 2, respectively, while LBFF is yet to schedule a new date.&nbsp;</li><li><strong>Lovable turtles.</strong> Brazilian scientists and a Swiss researcher discovered a new turtle species that lived in Brazil 85 million years ago. Using 3D printing and computed tomography, they were able to create anatomic models from a 2 cm fragment of the animal’s skull found in 2014 and concluded that it is a new species. In an <a href=",fossil-revela-tartaruguinha-vivendo-entre-dinossauros-no-interior-de-sao-paulo,70003195588">interview</a> with newspaper <em>O Estado de S. Paulo</em>, paleontologist Fabiano Iori said the new turtle was named <em>Amabilis uchoensis</em>, in a nod to its tiny size: only 15 cm. In Latin, &#8220;amabile&#8221; means lovable, while Uchoa is a Brazilian city that became a reference for local paleontologists.

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Natália Scalzaretto

Natália Scalzaretto has worked for companies such as Santander Brasil and Reuters, where she covered news ranging from commodities to technology. Before joining The Brazilian Report, she worked as an editor for Trading News, the information division from the TradersClub investor community.

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