Brazil’s telecommunications companies are ending the practice of throttling mobile internet connections, according to a ZDNet article by Angelica Mari. The move will be led by the country’s largest Telco, Telefónica Vivo, with others planning to follow suit.
Throttling is, of course, the practice of slowing internet service in an attempt to discourage bandwidth congestion. It’s a practice that has been pretty standard in recent history, though it appears now to be falling out of favour. In countries like Canada, companies have begun to move away from the practice in order to appease complaints from customers and regulators, whereas, interestingly, in Brazil the move is apparently being spearheaded by the telcos themselves. Consumer rights activists are decrying the effect it will have in altering existing mobile data contracts, since the service providers will now be adding surcharges for excessive data usage.
Mari notes that massive growth is expected in the coming years for Brazil’s mobile industry, with a predicted 11-fold increase in mobile data traffic between 2013 and 2018 – a pronounced reflection of a broader global trend. This comes amid massive growth forecasted for the country’s biometrics industry; given the two fields’ growing interconnectedness, it seems fair to expect both to grow in tandem as Brazil’s telcos take the leash off mobile data.