Brazil advances in ICT adoption

The country improves in the skills front and in broadband provision - but sees decline in use and access to tools, says report.

Brazil has made progress in the adoption of information and communication technologies (ICTs), according to a new report from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

The Measuring the Information Society report analyzed the state of ICT across 176 countries. Brazil ranked 66th overall and 10th in the Americas, behind other Latin countries such as Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.

Country performance is measured by the ICT Development Index (IDI), a combination of 11 indicators including access to tools, use and skills.

The biggest gain seen in Brazil was in the ICT skills indicator, which has gone up from 92nd to 71st place.

Brazil also evolved in terms of fixed and mobile broadband access this year, which went from 58.3 percent to 59.7 percent of the population.

The ITU report suggests that the competitiveness of the telecom market in Brazil is expanding. It points out that the country is one of the largest telecommunications markets in the Americas and that there is competition for all services in the country's major cities.

Growth in fixed telephony has been stagnating over the last few years in Brazil and its penetration is 20.4 per 100 inhabitants. At the same time, the report says, mobile services and VoIP are growing. Fixed broadband is available for 13 per 100 inhabitants.

The penetration of mobile telephony is 118.9 per 100 inhabitants, according to the report. 3G technology is now available for 96.9 percent of the Brazilian population.

The report also highlighted that both government and private sector are investing in the sector, with investments such as the expansion of submarine cable networks and satellites that serve the regions where it is not possible to roll out fiber optics.

However, these improvements have yet to materialize: Brazil worsened its performance in the use indicator, moving from the 56th position to 57th, according to the report. In the access indicator, the country has also dropped from 79th to 80th place.

Iceland topped the IDI in 2017 - the country ranked second last year. South Korea, Switzerland, Denmark and the United Kingdom were the other countries in the top five list this year.