By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – A study by the National Mobile Telephone Service Union (SindiTelebrasil) for the first time since data has been recorded there has been a reduction in the number of active mobile telephone lines in Brazil. In September 2015 there were 275 million active mobile telephone lines in the country, a decline by one percent from January of 2015.
According to SindiTelebrasil president, Eduardo Levy, this decrease in active mobile lines had been expected but only in 2017-2018. The reduction according to the executive is due to the decrease of the number of pre-paid mobile lines by 4.5 percent during the first nine months of the year, a reduction of ten million lines.
Analysts say that the introduction of mobile applications such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger allows users to call friends through the Internet without resorting to using cellular telephone operators. In Brazil mobile telephones often can support two, three or even four chips from different operators, so that users at both ends of the call are able to use the same operator and reduce calling charges.
With the use of new mobile apps which allow for voice calls via the Internet, many users have stopped paying for different operators, keeping the one with the cheapest Internet data packages.
According to SindiTelebrasil mobile telephones are present in 91.1 percent of Brazilian households, and are the only telecommunication channel in 56.3 percent of them. According to data from the National Household Sample Survey (PNAD) only 37.1 percent of Brazilian households had conventional landlines in 2014.