Almost Every Brazilian Has a Cell Phone

“Brazil registered 2.4 million new cell phones in August, reaching 189.4 million habitants, according to data divulged this Monday by Anatel (National Agency of Telecommunications).

According to statistics from the Agency, for each 100 Brazilians, 97.96% have a cell phone. In the first eight months of this year, 15.5 million people signed cell phone contracts, a little below the same period in 2009, when 17.4 million new cell phones hit the market.

From the total number, 82.2% are prepaid. Vivo continues as the leader of the market with 30.2%. Claro comes in second with 25.4%. Time represents 24.3% of the sector and Oi, 19.7%.  The predominant technology in Brazilian cell phones is GSM, present in 88.3% of the cell phones.” – Source (in PT)

Internet access up 75% in Brazil (in 3 yrs)

“The percentage of Brazilians, who are 10 years or older, that are online increased 75.3% in the last 3 years, going from 20.9% in 2005 to 34.8% in 2008 (or 56 million users), the Brazilian Institution of Geography and Statistics stated on Friday.

The increase occurred just as much among men (21.9% in 2005 to 35.8% in 2008) as it did among women (from 20.1% to 33.9%). Last year, the utilization was larger among the youth: those between 15 and 17 years old registered the highest percentage (62%) of people that went online and also they represented the group with the highest increase in the last three years (when it was at 33.7%).”

Source (more here, in PT)

Caminho das Indias – The road more traveled

Last Friday night, of every 100 TV’s that were turned on in Brazil, 81 were tuned in to the finale of Caminho das Indias. We all know what I think about novelas, etc but I can’t help but repeat the notion that such a statistic is disgusting to say the least.  I would love to read a thorough study of the history of novelas in Brazil, like how they started and why Brazilians love them so.

In Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken, the general idea is that he found happiness in having chosen the road less traveled because as it is said, that made all the difference. Among scholars and those who knew Frost, the concensus is different. What Frost was really saying and what the poem was really about is the fact that he felt regret for not having chosen the other road.

I’m pretty sure in this case, he wouldn’t need to regret taking the road less traveled by not watching that porcaria (pardon my French Portuguese) called Caminho das Indias…or whatever the name of the one that proceeded it or the one which will follow.

Food Staples over 15 years

The Dieese (Departament of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies) reported on the large increase in the price of the cesta básica (lit. “basic basket”, ie. food staples) for the average resident of the state of Pará. Their findings within a 15 year period, since the Real Plan in 1994, showed an increase of 220.25%.

In accordance with the data from the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) on the variation of the price index, Belém found a spot among the top three capitals of the country with the highest cost of living. The “basic basket” is comprised of 12 items. Those items include things like beans, tomatoes, bananas, sugar, cooking oil, coffee, French bread, potatoes, milk, butter, beef and mandioc flour.

The Departament also states that the prices are actually increasing at a slower rate than in the previous years, however, the difference in value is larger than ever.

However, in the same 15 year period as the study, certain items have grown to be more expensive than others, such is the case with mandioc flour (412.20% increase); tomatoes (308.57% increase) and bananas (251.14% increase).

– Source (translated from PT)