Brazil Transportation and Communications
Roads: Since 1970s government has given funding
priority to roads and highways. São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro,
and other major cities have modern metropolitan expressways. Practically
all state capitals linked by paved roads. Brazilian highways of
modern design. Road network most developed, but maintenance remains
problem. Highway transportation of passengers and freight leading
form of transportation in Brazil, with highway system 1,670,148
kilometers in length (increase of more than 300 percent since 1970s),
of which 161,503 kilometers paved. At least three-fourths of Brazil's
population and goods transported by highway. Although Brazil borders
all but two South American countries, only in southern regions are
links to adjoining countries adequate; in North and Center-West,
roads to adjoining countries barely passable or only planned. Large
areas remain inaccessible. In part because of general disregard
of traffic laws, automobile collisions claim lives of roughly 50,000
Brazilians per year, and drivers responsible for accidents rarely
held accountable. New Transit Code took effect in January 1998,
imposing a tough new set of traffic laws.
Railroads: Rail network, in proportion to highways,
relatively small. Rail lines cover only 30,129 kilometers, of which
2,150 kilometers electrified. However, some special projects have
been implemented, such as Steel Railroad (Ferrovia do Aço)
to connect inland iron ore mining areas to steel mills and port
facilities on Southeast's coast. Its western network sold to a foreign
consortium in early 1996. Federal Railroad System, Inc. (Rêde
Ferroviária Federal S.A.--RFFSA) has operated 73 percent
of Brazil's suburban railroads, with 21,951 kilometers of track
and 40,500 employees in nineteen states. In 1995 RFFSA hauled 85
million tons of cargo, and Southeastern Railroad Line accounted
for 45 million tons. Central-eastern network 7,132 kilometers; western
network 1,620 kilometers. Privatization of financially troubled
RFFSA began in 1995.
Subways: Recife, Rio de Janeiro, and São
Paulo have new urban subway systems. Although São Paulo needs
a 200-kilometer network, it had only forty-three kilometers in 1996.
Same US$0.60 fare takes one anywhere on São Paulo's Metrô
network. New South Line of Rio de Janeiro's Metrô extends
Ports: Thirty-six deep-water ports. Most, including
Rio de Janeiro and Santos (largest in Latin America), being privatized.
Waterways: Some 50,000 kilometers navigable. Boats
main form of transportation in many parts of Amazon Basin. Amazon
navigable by ocean steamers as far as 3,680 kilometers to Iquitos,
Peru. Constitutional amendment ending state monopoly of domestic
shipping approved August 15, 1995. Until regulations approved, foreign
ships may carry only passengers.
Pipelines: Approximately 2,000 kilometers for
crude oil, 465 kilometers for refined products, and 257 kilometers
for natural gas. Planned Bolivia-Brazil gas pipeline targeted for
completion in 1997; will be 3,415 kilometers in length, running
from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, to São Paulo. Pipeline will also
con-nect to states of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais and link with
existing refineries and production fields in São Paulo's
Campos and Santos basins.
Air Transport and Airports: Vast network of air
services in existence since 1930s. Direct air connections to all
other countries in South America, several in Central America, and
all three in North America, as well as to every continent. Routes--both
at commuter and medium- to long-range level--operated by various
commercial airlines, increasingly using airplanes designed and built
in Brazil. All airlines registered in Brazil are private enterprises,
some allowing foreign-equity participation. Major airlines include
Rio Grande do Sul Airline (Viação Aérea Rio
Grande do Sul--Varig) and São Paulo Airline (Viação
Aérea São Paulo--VASP). Ten fully operational international
Radio: Number of radios--about 30 million (1995).
Number of radio stations: at least 2,751; 334 being installed. Range
of radio stations: national/regional, 2,932; tropical (in tropical
areas), eighty-two; shortwave, 151; and FM, 1,248. Estimated audience:
100 million. Government has ultimate control over radio stations
through power to control licensing. Government broadcasts domestically
for hour each night by requisitioning time on all national radio
stations. Rádio Nacional (government's overseas radio service)
transmits information and cultural programs supportive of Brazilian
foreign policy and commercial activity to Europe, the Americas,
Africa, and parts of Asia. Station's medium-wave and short-wave
broadcasts in Portuguese to the Amazon Region. Brazilian Radio Broadcasting
Company (Empresa Brasileira de Rádiodifusão--Radiobrás)
became Brasília-based Brazilian Communications Company (Empresa
Brasileira de Comunicações S.A.--Radiobrás)
in 1988. Radiobrás directs programming.
Television: Number of televisions increased by
only 200,000 from 1985 to 1995, when total figure reached 26.2 million.
Estimated potential audience: 80 million. TV programming run primarily
by private enterprises. Licenses to operate issued by executive
branch through Ministry of Communications and approved by Congress.
Number of television stations, at least 257 and thirty-one under
installation; commercial TV stations, 269; educational and university
TV stations, twenty (owned by federal government, state governments,
universities, and educational foundations). TV networks: Globo Television
Network (Rêde Globo de Televisão), eighty-one stations;
Rêde Bandeirantes, sixty-three stations; Brazilian Television
System (Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão--SBT), seventy-seven
stations; Rêde Manchete, thirty-six stations; TV Record, twelve
stations. Domestic dissemination of signals beamed by all five national
networks through two domestic Brasilsat satellites operated by Brazilian
Telecommunications Company (Empresa Brasileira de Telecomuniçacões--Embratel),
government's national communications corporation. Embratel also
operates micro-wave system available to all stations. Various "cable"
systems are also being developed in major Brazilian cities. Rather
than actually transmitting by physical cable, these systems work
via satellite to individual receiving dishes installed for subscribers.
NET System, being installed in major cities, operates by cable.
Every major television market in Brazil has five networks represented
by affiliate station. Much of television program-ming entertainment,
especially famous telenovelas (prime-time soap-opera-style dramas).
Most cities also have educational TV channel, TV Educativa, which
carries cultural, documentary, and sometimes foreign language programs.
Telephones: Number of telephones 13,237,852 (1995,
IBGE). About half of telephones and one-third of installed cellular
phone lines in São Paulo. Residents of São Paulo and
Rio de Janeiro must pay about US$3,000 to obtain telephone line.
Nine lines per 100 population. About 98 percent of rural properties
have no telephone lines. Government plans to triple number of fixed
phone lines to 40 million by 2003 and to increase number of cellular
links from 800,000 to 8.2 million by 1999. In July 1996, Brazilian
legislators formulating plans to privatize state-owned monopoly
of Brazilian Telecommunica-tions (Telecomunicações
Brasileiras S.A.--Telebrás), which has 90 percent of Brazilian
telephone subscribers and twenty-seven regional companies. Telebrás
launched three cable systems but was facing stiff competition in
cable market from publishing giants Grupo Abril (TVA Brasil) and
Globo (Globocabo and NET Brasil). Sales of telecommunications products
in 1995 accounted for US$2.1 billion. In 1997 Brazil had 7,600 kilo-meters
of fiber optic cable; additional 7,400 kilometers sched-uled for
completion in 1999.
Telecommunications Organizations: Two main telecommu-nications
organizations are National Department of Telecom-munications (Departamento
Nacional de Telecomunicações--Dentel), located within
Ministry of Communications in Brasília; and Brazilian Association
of Radio and Television Stations (Associação Brasileira
de Emissoras de Rádio e Televisão--ABERT), also located
in Brasília. Dentel supervises television and radio broadcasting.
Print Media: 333 newspapers published daily in
Brazil in 1993. All newspapers privately owned and operated. Total
daily circulation varies between 2.2 and 2.6 million. Leading newspapers:
Folha de São Paulo (São Paulo; liberal, center-left;
daily circulation 540,000 copies; Sunday circulation 1,200,000);
O Globo (Rio de Janeiro; conservative; 280,000, daily; 525,000,
Sunday); O Estado de São Paulo (São Paulo; independent;
320,000, daily; 650,000, Sunday); Jornal do Brasil (Rio de Janeiro;
Catholic, conservative; 116,000, daily; 160,000, Sunday); weekday
Gazeta Mercantil (São Paulo; business; 100,000, daily); Correio
Braziliense (Brasília; 50,000, daily; 100,000, Sunday); Jornal
de Brasília (Brasília; 22,000, daily; 26,000, Sunday).
Periodicals: Of several hundred periodicals published in Brazil,
most influential and widely circulated news and current affairs
magazines are: Veja (1,207,521), Visão, and IstoÉ
(491,752). Leading business news biweekly is Exáme (188,000).
Leading illustrated general interest magazine is Manchete (130,000).
All but Rio de Janeiro-based Manchete published in São Paulo.
Domestic news agencies: Rio de Janeiro-based Agência Globo
and Agência JB; Brasília-based Agência ANDA and
Empresa Brasileira de Noticias; and São Paulo-based Agência
Estado and Agência Fôlha.
Data as of April 1997