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Brazil Telecommunications

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Brazil Telecommunications


Brazil has a good system of telecommunications, including extensive microwave radio-relay facilities. In 1995 the country had 13,237,852 telephones. It has as many as 3,171 broadcast stations. These include 1,265 FM, 1,572 medium-wave, and eighty-two tropical-wave radio stations and 257 television stations.

In 1995 the Roman Catholic Church organized a UHF satellite television channel broadcasting to eight states under the aegis of the Brazilian Institute of Christian Communication. The Brazilian government founded the Brazilian Radio Broadcasting Company (Empresa Brasileira de Radiodifusão--Radiobrás) in 1975 to unite all existing state-owned broadcasting stations and to create new radio and television services capable of reaching the Amazon region.

Until the 1988 constitution, the president had the exclusive prerogative to allocate radio and television concessions. In 1981, after canceling the Tupi Network concessions, the military government very capriciously selected political allies to set up new networks--Manchete, Bandeirantes, and the Brazilian Television System (Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão--SBT)--and passed over other communications enterprises (the newspaper Jornal do Brasil and the publisher Editora Abril, for example). From 1985 through 1988, television and radio con-cessions became the "currency of political negotiation" as President Sarney tried to maintain majorities in Congress. As a result, many evangelical (born-again Christian) organizations acquired radio and television concessions, much to the dissatisfaction of the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1988 Radiobrás and the official Brazilian News Agency became a single organization under the name Brazilian Communications Company (Empresa Brasileira de Comunicação), which retained the Radiobrás acronym. Today, Radiobrás stations can be heard all over the country and abroad. Its television programs also are transmitted throughout the country by Brazil Network (Rêde Brasil). Brazil has six principal television networks: Globo (owned by Roberto Marinho), Manchete (Adolfo Bloch), Bandeirantes (João Jorge Saad), the SBT (Sílvio Santos), Record (pentecostal Bishop Edir Macedo), and TV-Gaúcha S.A. There is also an embryonic system of pay television (cable, microwave, and satellite). Brazil is connected internationally by three coaxial submarine cables, three Atlantic Ocean International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (Intelsat) earth stations, and sixty-four domestic satellite earth stations.

Brazilian Telecommunications, Inc. (Telecomunicações Brasileiras S.A.--Telebrás), a state-owned company with monopoly control over Brazilian telecommunications, oversees Brazil's telecommunications. According to Telebrás, the Brazilian government is developing an indigenous cellular telephone project, called Eco-8, which by 1998 is supposed to enable telephone contact between anywhere in Brazil and some Central American countries. A 1995 constitutional reform proposal allowed for the privatization of Telebrás.

Brazil leads Latin America with at least 161 Internet networks; second-place Mexico has 105 networks. Almost 80 percent of Brazil's largest nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are connected with each other and with the Internet. According to the Brazilian Telecommunications Company (Empresa Brasileira de Telecomunicações--Embratel), in early 1995 the Internet became available to any Brazilian with access to a telephone and a modem. Until then, the Internet had been available only to researchers linked to educational institutions or NGOs.

Data as of April 1997





About Brazil
Table A. Selected Acronyms and Abbreviations
Table B. Chronology of Important Events
Transportation and Communications
Government and Politics
National Security

Historical Setting

The Society and Its Environment

The Economy

Historical Background and Economic Growth

- The Colonial Period
The Sugar Cycle, 1540-1640
The Eighteenth-Century Gold Rush

- The Economy at Independence, 1822
- The Coffee Economy, 1840-1930
- A Period of Sweeping Change, 1930-45
- Import-Substitution Industrialization, 1945-64
- Stagnation and Spectacular Growth, 1962-80
Stagnation, 1962-67
Spectacular Growth, 1968-73

Growth with Debt, 1974-80

- Stagnation, Inflation, and Crisis, 1981-94
The 1981-84 Period
The 1985-89 Period

The 1990-94 Period

The Labor Force and Income Levels
- Employment and Earnings


- Inequality and Poverty
Structure of Production
- Agriculture
- Livestock
- Fishing
- Industry
- Mining
- Energy
Electric Power
Natural Gas
Nuclear Power

- The Services Sector

Inland Waterways
Merchant Marine

Exchange-Rate and Balance of Payments Policies
- Exchange Rates and Foreign Trade
- Capital Flows and the External Debt
Fiscal and Monetary Policy, the Public Sector, and Inflation
- Fiscal Trends in the 1980s
- Pressures on Public-Sector Expenditures in the 1980s
- Fiscal Deficits and Inflation
Brazil's Real Plan
Trade Policies
Trade Patterns and Regional Economic Integration
Economic Outlook

Government and Politics

National Security

Science and Technology

Brazil Travel and Tourism
Belo Horizonte
- Fernando de Noronha
- Foz do Iguaçu
- Porto Alegre
- Rio de Janeiro
- Salvador Bahia
- São Paulo

Brazil General Information Center

Bahia Resort Hotels
Brazilian Consulate
Brazilian Currency
Carnival of Brazil
Dictionary -Transltation
Flights to Brazil
Information About Brazil
Map of Brazil
Travel to Brazil
Visa to Brazil


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