Research Highlights Mobile Internet Opportunity in Brazil

New consumer research commissioned by Acision and carried out by QuantiNet has identified substantial untapped potential for mobile broadband providers in Brazil.

Two thirds of the 65 per cent of respondents who could access the mobile internet on their device are not actually doing so, which indicates that there are approximately 44m Brazilian consumers that operators can still reach with mobile internet services. In particular, the research identifies 14 per cent of non-mobile internet users stating that they are currently considering taking the service, representing over 6m potential new customers. Another 16 per cent are unaware of the advantages and types of services the mobile internet provides, representing a further 7.3m untapped customers. 

Despite the untapped potential and rising popularity of mobile internet services in Brazil, however, Acision notes that Quality of Experience (QoE) issues are also becoming a challenge for operators.  The research found that as many as 90 per cent of those accessing the mobile internet had already experienced QoE issues with their service. Problems encountered included slow speeds (75 per cent); inability to get connected (73 per cent); connection loss (68 per cent); no network coverage (67 per cent); and low image quality (51 per cent). Consumers also claimed these issues happened frequently, with slow speeds again topping the list with 67 per cent saying this is a reoccurring issue. 

The research also highlighted that pricing is a major concern for mobile internet users in Brazil, with 45 per cent claiming this was a main cause of service dissatisfaction, and 55 per cent claiming it is an obstacle for not using a mobile internet service at all. While price is an issue, however, the research highlights that video services on the mobile internet are more popular in Brazil than in the UK, with 44 per cent of mobile internet users accessing video services.

“The Brazilian research  resonates with findings from similar YouGov/Acision research carried out in the US and UK recently, and reinforces the common internet QoE challenges experienced by operators across the globe today,” says Steven van Zanen, senior vice president marketing, Mobile Broadband, at Acision. “As mobile broadband usage balloons, particularly in a country like Brazil, where access to fixed-line internet services is limited, and over half of consumers (52 per cent) access the internet via a mobile network, it is all the more important that these Quality of Expererience issues are resolved.”

Noting that the research reveals a willingness among consumers to paying a small fee for additional services that improve the quality of their mobile internet experience, van Zanen says that operators can put three simple steps into play to

improve matters.
Firstly, operators can raise Average Revenue per User (ARPU) and mobile broadband profitability, by resolving consumer concerns around pricing, and encourage service adoption by introducing tiered pricing and differentiated service offerings. This could include offering all you can eat packages for elementary services such as email and basic browsing and differentiated offers and tiered pricing for heavier users and resource intensive services, such as video. 

Secondly, he says, operators need to control costs by employing techniques such as data compression and define rules and policies to help better manage peak traffic. Finally, operators can improve quality of service by optimising media content by device or available bandwidth as well as prioritising cell traffic.

“If this is all approached in the right way and if the appropriate education is provided to consumers on what their service entails and what they get for their money, operators can seize the opportunity and build a profitable mobile broadband business,” van Zanen concludes.