|Issue:||Latin America 2005|
|Topic:||Third generation mobile and multimedia in Brazil|
|Title:||Executive Vice President, Marketing and Innovation|
Luís Avelar is the Executive Vice President of Marketing and Innovation of VIVO, a joint venture between Portugal Telecom and Telefónica Móviles for mobile communications in Brazil. Mr Avelar began his career in Portugal Telecom in New Product and Services Development, Commercial and Marketing Planning and Large Account’s Administration. He served several years with the European Commission in the area of Telecommunications’ Policy, but returned to Portugal Telecom to support the company’s privatisation programme and later to coordinate its strategic alliances programme. Mr Avelar moved to Brazil to study the opportunities of the Telebrás system’s privatisation. Upon the acquisition of Telesp Celular, he became Special Advisor to the President of Telesp Celular and was later promoted to Vice President. Upon the formation of the Vivo joint venture, he became Vice President of Information Technologies and Products and Services Engineering and later promoted to his present post. Luís Avelar earned his degree in Electrotechnical Engineering from the Technical Superior Institute of Lisbon, Portugal, and has a Masters Degree in Marketing and Finance.
Mobile telephony has already surpassed the importance of the fixed telephone in bringing public communications to all levels of Brazil’s population. It reaches regions that fixed services cannot economically serve. Mobile telephones provide, in addition to voice, a wide range of multimedia services. Brazil, with 76 million users, has even launched multimedia applications at the same time as the United States. Businesses with 3G broadband mobile can access emails, download files and access their offices while working in the field.
For some time, now, Information Technology has been the driving force behind many significant and outstanding economic and social changes all over the world. One of the outcomes and advantages of all this technology is the mobile concept and capability that many experts consider to be the underlying cause of the Third Industrial Revolution. Mobile telephony, an integral part of this trend, is one of the markets making the biggest contribution to digital convergence, personalisation and, especially, the advance of multimedia applications. Japan and Korea are outstanding markets in terms of the world’s advances in mobile telephony. Multimedia applications have surged into feverish popularity there. Users in these countries have demanded velocity and high quality data transmission, such as images, videos and sound, as the principle distinctive features for the mobile telephone. Although the industry in Brazil is not yet going through the same phase as in the Asian countries, innovative third generation services, together with world-class technology, are already present, providing data transmission speeds of up to 2.4 Mbps. In fact, in some cases, Brazil has launched multimedia application at the same time as the United States, tremendously increasing the economic and digital inclusion that mobile telephony has fomented in recent years. The heavy impact that mobile communication has upon Brazilian society can be measured by the expansion of the customer base, which has been growing at historic rates of 30 per cent a year and now serves over 76 million customers. In other words, four out of every ten Brazilians have a mobile telephone, according to figures from Brazil’s National Telecommunications Agency (ANATEL). Mobile telephony has already surpassed the importance of the traditional fixed telephone system, because the mobile phone, today, actually fulfils the function of bringing public communications to all levels of the population. Mobile telephony’s widespread network has opened gateways that reach into regions that formerly had not been benefited by the implementation of a fixed telephone system, such as, for example, many rural areas that are now loyal mobile telephone customers. The responsibility that mobile telephony carries as an instrument for transforming people’s lives tends to increase enormously in the short term. In Brazil, a leading mobile telephone operator offers third generation CDMA 3G EV-DO service and is able to provide handheld resources, similar to CD, DVD and TV, anywhere and at any time, based on Qualcomm’s cutting edge CDMA technology. The essence of third-generation services is in the media convergence in mobile telephones, which makes it much more enjoyable to use existing multimedia applications, with the added advantage of mobility. By using recently launched 3G multimedia services, it is possible to use a mobile telephone to watch TV, cartoons, videos, video clips, the latest soccer highlights and movie trailers, as well as to play three-dimensional games, listen to entire musical numbers, hold video conferences, and locate people, streets and commercial establishments, plus much, much more. We are in the midst of a new era where the mobile telephone is no longer merely an instrument for voice transmission, but has moved forward to offer clients an almost limitless range of multimedia services. This is an enormous technological leap, especially for the Brazilian marketplace, because it permits high-speed reception and transmission of excellent quality images and sound. The technological revolution allows other markets to develop as well and to become increasingly competitive, such as, for instance, by giving opportunities to companies that provide national and international content. Proof of this can be found in the results of a study done by the consulting firms Yankee, Telecoms & Media, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, which found that the contents developed for mobile telephones should stir up somewhere around US$ 42.8 billion in business throughout the world by 2010. According to the study, the most popular preferences are sports, movies, music clips, cellular TV and adult material. Based on this same context, another study done in April of this year by PricewaterhouseCoopers indicates that the entertainment market will soar to US$ 1.8 trillion by 2009. The growth of broadband services delivered via mobile telephony is the key factor for this forecast. Furthermore, third generation technology will bring much more than velocity, security and quality to receiving and sending data. This technology has all the efficiency needed to bring much-needed expansion to new markets. It will drive many companies to develop multimedia applications that will bring increasingly higher levels of entertainment to third generation subscribers. Studies by such industry marketing research firms as Datacom Research assure us that CDMA 3G EV-DO is the technology that provides the fastest reception of audio and video downloads on the market. The launch of mobile 3G multimedia shows the industry’s determined commitment to bring innovation and quality to its ever-expanding services. With the accelerating growth in the use of CDMA 3G EV-DO technology all over the world, it is already serving around 14.4 million people. Currently, 22 of the world’s mobile operators run this technology and, for that reason, we are extremely proud to be the first Latin American country whose mobile operators are able to provide customers with the third generation and to foment the use of multimedia applications by Brazilians. Businesses can also gain with CDMA 3G EV-DO. This technology provides the efficiency, productivity and agility needed in a working tool and to facilitate handling business activities via wireless communication. With 3G broadband mobile connectivity services, users can operate their notebooks at high speeds at just about any location: in an airport, in a shopping mall, in a taxi, or even at a last-minute meeting. Via a PCMCIA card, it is possible to access emails and download files and photos at ten times the velocity of conventional broadband. This provides the precision, agility and speed that are the determining factors for improving corporate decision-making processes. In addition to the mobile telephone and high-speed connections, mobile operators are concerned about providing convenience for those professionals who normally work more outside of the company than inside the company itself. With these professionals in mind, some operators have brought mobile email services to the market. These can be also based on CDMA 3G EV-DO technology, among others. With PDAs, push-mail service, users can navigate on the Internet, organise and synchronise their emails as they wish, and they can open any file, from any location. This is still another tool that proves the high level of innovations, implemented by Brazil’s operators, to bring efficiency and mobility as well as greater productivity and agility in carrying on business operations. In this manner, the launch of third-generation services reaffirms Brazil’s pioneering position as one of the world’s mobile telephony marketplace leaders. This is just the beginning. The industry is now anxiously awaiting the decision of ANATEL, the regulatory agency, to establish the time schedule for the public bidding competition for third generation services in Brazil. As a result of the arrival of third-generation technology, the mobile telephone is now becoming a focal point for the convergence of information and telecommunications, allowing people to communicate among them and interact, as well as to enjoy multimedia entertainment, from a mobile platform.