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Tech Roundup Jun. 5, 2020 | Wi-Fi 6 arrives in Brazil

. Jun 05, 2020
Wi-Fi 6 makes way into Brazil Photo: 42pixels/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: the profile of Brazilian gamers, the digital transformation updates adopted by the main state-owned tech company in the country, and the first steps of the new generation of Wi-Fi technology in Brazil. 

Wi-Fi 6 makes way into Brazil 

TP-Link announced that its new router, Archer AX10, equipped with Wi-Fi 6 technology, will be available in Brazil in June,

according to website CanalTech. The launch comes a few weeks after telecom watchdog Anatel approved the 5.925 to 7.125 GHz frequencies <a href="https://teletime.com.br/05/05/2020/anatel-abre-caminho-e-espectro-para-a-tecnologia-wifi-6-no-brasil/">to be used for Wi-Fi transmission</a>, the first step to allow the next generation of Wi-Fi connectivity to work in the country.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Understanding Wi-Fi 6. </strong>Launched in 2019 in the U.S., Wi-Fi 6 is able to support more simultaneous connections, with theoretical speeds reaching 9.6 Gbps. For comparison&#8217;s sake, current Wi-Fi 5 technology has a theoretical speed that is 7 times slower. It is also able to avoid interference, which helps improve the signal in residential areas. Faster connection would be useful for data-intensive applications, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, streaming content in 8K-quality, among others.</p> <p><strong>Yes, but … </strong>While there are routers and devices — such as iPhone 11 — already equipped for Wi-Fi 6 technology, Brazilian internet providers are <a href="https://www.nexojornal.com.br/expresso/2020/01/14/O-que-muda-com-o-wi-fi-6-nova-gera%C3%A7%C3%A3o-de-redes-sem-fio">still unable</a> to provide such a fast connection. Basically, the router and the device may support faster connections, but the link that feeds them is still slow. Moreover, Anatel still has to define the conditions for the use of the spectrum, avoiding interference with other models.</p> <p><strong>Why it matters.</strong> Unlike the 5G spectrum, Wi-Fi 6 is “unlicensed,” which means that users can assemble systems domestically. Fostering a faster connection in a “simpler” model than the highly-disputed 5G, the auction for which has been delayed more than once, may help to boost internet speed in the country.&nbsp;</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Smartphones become Brazilian gamers’ favorite platform</h2> <p><a href="https://brazilian.report/society/2019/06/30/developers-brazil-video-game-market/">Brazilian gamers</a> are becoming increasingly mobile, as smartphones become the favorite platform of 86.7 percent of the population, according to the <a href="https://www.meioemensagem.com.br/home/midia/2020/06/03/publico-declarado-gamer-cresce-71-e-e-de-maioria-feminina.html">newest edition</a> of the Game Brasil survey. The trend has also been verified among the share of hardcore gamers, gathering 34.4 percent of preference and surpassing video game consoles for the first time.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Casual gamers. </strong>Almost three in four Brazilians play video games — a 7 percent increase on the last survey — and, of those, 67 percent are casual gamers, or people that play less frequently than heavy users. This audience is majorly made up of women (61 percent) and 35 percent are aged between 25 and 34. According to the survey, these casual gamers play three times per week and for up to three hours.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Connection. </strong>Besides playing for longer, heavy users also have better internet connections: 40 percent of them have download speeds exceeding 100 Megabits per second (Mbps), while roughly 35 percent of casual players have speeds faster than 50Mbps.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Why it matters.</strong> As games become increasingly related to advanced technology such as virtual reality, improving mobile internet speed could be a pivotal point to convert more heavy users to a market that already is the third-largest in the world, with more than 60 million players, according to a McKinsey <a href="https://www.slideshare.net/brazilatsiliconvalley/brazil-digital-report-1st-edition-139995239">report</a>. Also, the fact that casual gamers are mostly women breaks a long-term stereotype and represents an important audience to be targeted by the industry.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Waiting to be privatized, Serpro gets an update with multi-cloud project</h2> <p>Serpro, the Federal Data Processing Service, has partnered with Amazon Web Services as the first step of a new multi-cloud project that could make it more efficient and, therefore, more attractive for an <a href="https://brazilian.report/newsletters/brazil-weekly/2019/12/09/brazil-latest-privatization-plan-risk-data-privacy/">initial public offering</a> that has been pending since 2019.</p> <p><strong>What does Serpro do?</strong> Created to process and store data from the Treasury Department, Serpro currently has three lines of action:</p> <ul><li>Collecting and extracting data for private clients (limited to a few types of data);</li><li>Developing software for the government;</li><li>Offering idle processing capacity.</li></ul> <p><strong>Goals.</strong> Serpro also provides data processing services for other private firms. According to a Reuters <a href="https://br.reuters.com/article/internetNews/idBRKCN1VY265-OBRIN">report</a>, it was able to increase its base of private clients from 800 to 1,300 as of September 2019. With the Amazon partnership, Serpro customers will be able to store data in servers that are private (from Serpro) or public (such as Amazon’s), depending on technology compatibility or the level of secrecy required — as some data cannot leave a government-controlled environment.</p> <p><strong>Privatization. </strong>As we anticipated in our December 9 <a href="https://brazilian.report/newsletters/brazil-weekly/2019/12/09/brazil-latest-privatization-plan-risk-data-privacy/">Weekly Briefing</a>, the Economy Ministry included Sepro in its privatization program, but these plans were shelved as the Covid-19 crisis struck, to avoid selling assets at much cheaper prices. Serpro chief executive officer Caio Andrade told UOL that if an IPO does move forward, it will be better for the company to be included in cloud projects: “if the government wants to privatize Serpro, it will be better for us to take part in this story. It increases the chances of a good IPO.”</p> <p><strong>Data privacy. </strong>One of the biggest concerns involving the IPO is the security of personal data stored by Serpro. Digital Government Secretary Luís Felipe Monteiro said in a <a href="https://www.convergenciadigital.com.br/cgi/cgilua.exe/sys/start.htm?UserActiveTemplate=site&amp;infoid=53835&amp;sid=16">webinar</a> that the National Development Bank is studying the best privatization model for Serpro and Dataprev, but “data shall remain under the government’s custody and owned by the citizens,” regardless of how the new companies would work.&nbsp;</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Take note</h2> <ul><li>Tembici, the mobility startup founded by Itaú Unibanco bank,<a href="https://www.istoedinheiro.com.br/tembici-recebe-aporte-de-us-47-milhoes-para-implementar-bicicleta-eletricas/"> raised</a> USD 47 million in a fundraising round involving venture capital behemoths such as Red Point E-ventures, Valor Capital, Joá Investimentos and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank financial unit that is debuting in the micro-mobility market. The money shall be used to implement electric bicycles, increase the company’s fleet in Brazilian towns, and foster its technological development.&nbsp;</li><li>TV Globo, the leading broadcasting company in Brazil, created a platform allowing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to advertise on its affiliated broadcasters around Brazil. Called SIM, the digital platform allows companies to carry out media planning and even create their own commercials to be shown on TV. In the future, it will be possible to upload full videos, instead of creating them on the platform, and advertise on Globo&#8217;s digital portfolio and paid TV structure across the entire country, <a href="https://www.meioemensagem.com.br/home/midia/2020/06/02/com-sim-globo-quer-pequeno-e-medio-empresario-na-tv.html">reports</a> website Meio &amp; Mensagem.&nbsp;</li><li>A report by consultancy IDC shows that 40 percent of companies in Latin America are going through a recession, while 22 percent are “slowing down,” <a href="https://teletime.com.br/03/06/2020/idc-conectividade-vira-alta-prioridade-para-39-das-empresas-da-america-latina/">according to </a>Telesíntese. The expectation is that this will reflect in IT investments, expected to increase by only 0.5 percent in the year. However, that considers a 5.3 percent drop in the region’s GDP; if the plunge surpasses 6 percent, investments may fall by 2 percent. Amid this scenario, “high connectivity” became a priority for 39 percent of the companies in both 2020 and 2021.

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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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