Articles by TMT Group. The team has solid experience in the provision of telecommunications services, both to the Brazilian Government, by means of the Brazilian Telecommunications Agency (ANATEL) and the Ministry of Communications, and to private companies, in its most varied industries (fixed telephone services, cell phone services, satellite, multimedia communication, cable TV, and others), having participated in important cases in the area.
In addition, Azevedo Sette Advogados assists its customers in obtaining telecommunications and radiofrequency licenses, in the participation in public inquiries of interest to their customers, in mediation and arbitration procedures, and in the relationship between the Granting Authority, concessionaires and authorized providers.
At the institutional level, Azevedo Sette Advogados actively participates in the main Brazilian and international chambers of commerce, associations and societies that represent the Telecommunications industry, such as, for example, the Brazilian Information Technology and Communications Law Association (www.abdtic.org.br), previously named ABDI.
According to Resolution No. 447, of October 19, 2006 of the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel), “Reversible Assets” are those essential to the continuity and timeliness of the service provision in the public regime. These assets are so named because, at the end of the concession agreements, they can be reverted to the Federal Government (as in the case of their extinction, in which the transference of ownership of these properties will occur automatically).
In 2019, the performance of M&A operations and other acts of economic concentration by telecommunication and media operators has grown in Brazil, making these national and international companies jointly reinforce their presence and become more competitive in the relevant Brazilian market. However, these concentration acts also have delicate regulatory nuances, mainly in regulated sectors (such as telecommunications), which must be observed by the competent responsible entities, in a joint and efficient way.
With the advancement of time, the demands of the Brazilian telecommunication sector for greater investments, notably with regard to broadband services, faced obstacles under the national General Telecommunication Law. In response to the needs for universalization and continuity of services, within a context of innovation and technological evolution, and in the face of the proximity of the deadline for termination of the current concession agreements in 2025, the adaptation of the regime for the exploitation of the Fixed Switched Telephone Service (STFC) emerged as an incentive for investments and development of the strategic objectives of ANATEL and Brazilian society.
Every day, at every moment, it is possible to verify the occurrence of cyber threats such as ransomware, malware, phishing and spoofing attacks, DDoS, among other malicious conducts carried out on the web, which intend to make its users vulnerable to obtain undue advantages or other malicious objectives. In view of the exponential increase in devices connected to the network, the lack of a culture of privacy and digital security, as well as the lack of cross-border regulation on aspects of cybersecurity, contribute to an inevitable increase in cybercrimes, capable of making the telecommunication infrastructure and the global society vulnerable.
The fifth generation (5G) network is based on three pillars, which differentiate it from previous generations: higher connection speed, reduced latency time and broader and more efficient coverage. Such features make it possible to improve mobile broadband, lower energy consumption, increase simultaneous connections (connected devices) and greater data transfers, allowing the improvement of pre-existing technologies (such as the quality of video calls, for example) and the development of more efficient systems in the scope of the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, smart homes and smart cities.
One of the most important bands for the deployment of 5G - considered “ideal” for fifth generation technology, mainly due to the combination of capacity and reach/penetration - is the 3.5 GHz band. Adjacent to the commercial C band, which starts at 3.4 GHz and goes up to 4.2 GHz, used for the transmission of satellite TV (TVRO), its use could cause “side effects”, such as interferences in signal reception on satellite dishes.
In a global context, the fifth generation of mobile networks (5G network) has several advantages and promises, which go hand in hand with the most varied challenges in the implementation of this technology, such as the increase in the volume of shared data, the use of specific technical equipment, the construction of complex and dense networks, the potentially high costs of network operation/maintenance and the security risks. From a national perspective, based on the discussions on the “Future of Telecom” online panel, organized and promoted by the Brazilian Ministry of Economics on June 12, 2020, we hereby do our analysis of the main challenges that 5G currently faces for its full development in the Brazilian territory.
Over the years, the exploitation of telecommunications services has been transformed by global technological developments and the emerging demands of globalization. In Brazil, the state monopoly exploitation model on telecommunications services “survived” until the 90’s, being suppressed by Law No. 9,472/97 (General Telecommunications Law - LGT), which brought new assumptions for the organization of telecommunications services, based on the opening of the market for private exploitation on a competitive basis.
The compliance assessment and the approval of products for telecommunications is carried out based on the analysis of technical and operational requirements, which demonstrate the credibility, reliability, quality and safety to users of the equipment used by the telecommunications service providers. The emergence of fifth generation (5G) mobile networks makes it essential to provide technical procedures that ensure specifications for the use and certification of equipment involved in the infrastructure of this new technology.
The transmission of content via internet is part of the daily life of modern society - however, behind the scenes, regulatory issues permeate quite winding roads. The regulation of content distribution of linear channels on the internet by OTT companies, directly to the consumer and through monthly payment, faces several discussions about its regulatory classification as a telecommunication service or other type of service. The emergence of the new market requires an analysis of the traditional regulatory scope, in order to adapt it to the dynamic nature and technological innovations in pay TV services.
In response to the occurrence of inappropriate conduct by telecommunications service providers, in violation of the applicable legal, regulatory or contractual provisions - related to quality of service, availability of service to the public, interconnection and remuneration of networks, offer of products in disagreement with technical standards, among other aspects -, fines and sanctions can be applied to correct these deviations. However, in addition to the punitive corrective mechanism, ANATEL – the Brazilian National Telecommunications Agency - also has instruments at its disposal to regulate or encourage the regularization of telecom providers’ conduct, in order to ensure a better service of the public interest.
Due to factors such as technological evolution, economic globalization and the speed of changes in the market and of the needs of users and consumers, the Brazilian telecommunications sector went through a process of market opening in the 90’s, reaching its peak in 1997/1998, through the authorization of the privatization of the Telebrás System and the creation of the National Telecommunications Agency (“ANATEL”).
After the drafting of the Constitutional Amendment No. 8/1995 to the Brazilian Federal Constitution, it was crystallized the break of the monopoly that reserved the exploitation of telecommunications services for companies under state shareholding control, allowing the authorization, concession or permission of telecommunications services. The privatization and the competitive environment in the telecommunications sector made the development of economic groups more complex and the determination of “shareholding control” requiring more sophisticated criteria.
“Cross-ownership" is understood as the control and concentration of several media channels by the same company or group of companies. Although its restriction is based on a noble value of protection of competition and competitiveness - since the simultaneous holding, by the same economic agent, of successive segments of the production chain could hinder the access to essential infrastructure - the current Brazilian national market yearns for the flexibility of corporate operations, in order to generate more economic and investment benefits than the current forecast in the Countrys regulatory model.
Technological innovations in the telecommunications sector have faced, in the past, difficulties in reaching end consumers effectively, due to the lack of adequate business models for the provision of convergent services. The expansion and success of telecommunications, therefore, depends directly on adding value to the products and services offered - which is possible through the value-added services.
From the perspective of the entertainment industry, the expressive technological and communication changes of the last decades have increased the frontiers of expansion of the audiovisual sector, creating different formats of access to content and giving the user more power to choose what they want to consume in this market. In this regard, Video-On-Demand (VOD) is gaining more and more space, nationally and internationally.
The radio-frequency spectrum is understood as a public good, of limited enjoyment, administered by the Brazilian National Telecommunications Agency - ANATEL, corresponding to the electromagnetic spectrum, whose electromagnetic waves propagate in space without an artificial guide and which, from the point of view of the current technological knowledge, can be used by radiocommunication systems (telecommunication that uses radio frequencies not restricted to wires, cables or other physical means). Herein we do an analysis of the regulatory aspects of spectrum management and the advances in spectrum regulation and modernization.
Communication satellites are artificial bodies that relay signals between distant points on Earth, being an important mean for the provision of several communications services. In Brazil, its primary function is currently related to the expansion of broadband in the national territory. The use of satellites in Brazil involves national rules, established both in the LGT and in the Resolutions of the National Telecommunications Agency - ANATEL, and international rules, established by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
The interconnection of users with the global network, over long distances, occurs through transport and access networks, which have the general function of transferring and providing access to information, voice and video through services provided by operators of telecommunications services to users. The high demand for the speedy propagation of content, as well as communications with lower costs for data transmission and reception, generated the need for massive delivery of broadband through the use of different types of optical fiber, enabling greater efficiency to telecommunications and global economy.
Access to broadband for the use of Internet is fundamental for the improvement of the current digital society, being the cause and consequence of the countries social and economic development. However, peripheral locations and rural regions are subject to conditions that hinder that access, such as residential geographic dispersion, the lack of scale for final consumers and technical and economic unfeasibility of implementing telecommunications infrastructure.
Infrastructure sharing is understood as the use of the utility of a provider’s structure by another operator, aiming at avoiding its duplication and giving economic viability to the expansion of telecommunications services coverage. As demonstrated below, the market trend of separating the management of the infrastructure of investments from the provision of telecommunications services can be used as a lever, promoting free competition in Brazil from the entry of new players in the telecommunications market, provided that such structural separation is carried out efficiently.
In order to guarantee the acquisition and use of efficient and reliable telecommunications equipment for consumers, such products must respect quality and safety standards and regulations on technical features, through the Certification and Homologation of such equipment - and regulation plays a fundamental role in this process, making evaluation procedures and models faster, simpler and more versatile, reducing regulatory barriers and transaction costs.
According to Law No. 9,472/1997 (General Telecommunications Law - “LGT”), the regulatory body responsible for organizing the exploitation of telecommunications services in Brazil is the National Telecommunications Agency (“ANATEL”). Based on this task, already in 2010, ANATEL regulated, under the terms of Resolution No. 550, subsequently amended by Resolution No. 663/2016, the exploitation of the Personal Mobile Service (“SMP”) by means of a Virtual Network, in a provision model known internationally as Mobile Virtual Network Operator (“MVNO”), the legal basis of which is also found in the LGT, in the Telecommunications Services Regulation (Resolution No. 73/1998), in the SMP Regulation (Resolution No. 477/2007) and other applicable provisions.
The Public Emergency Service (“SPE”) made available in Brazil has its legal basis in Resolution No. 357, dated March 15, 2004, of the National Telecommunications Agency (“ANATEL”). This Resolution, which approved the so-called Regulation on the Conditions of Access and Enjoyment of Public Utility Services and Support for the STFC - Fixed Switched Telephone Service (“Regulation”), was partially amended by Resolution No. 709, dated March 27, 2019 of the same Agency and which, in turn, approved the General Numbering Regulation (“RGN”).
In Brazil, Decree No. 9854, dated June 25, 2019 (“Decree”), instituted the National Plan of Internet of Things (“IoT”) to implement and develop IoT in the country, based on free competition and free movement of data, provided in compliance with the guidelines of information security and personal data protection. According to the regulation, the priority for IoT solutions’ application should include, at least, health, cities, industries and rural environments.
In order to simplify and harmonize the procedures related to the registration and licensing of telecommunications stations, the National Telecommunications Agency (“ANATEL”), the telecommunications regulatory body in Brazil, approved, by means of Resolution No. 719, dated February 10, 2020, the General Licensing Regulation (“RGL”). This rule consolidated several provisions on the subject matter that were contained in sparse regulations.
The Brazilian Ministry of Communications (“MCOM”), through Ordinance No. 502, dated September 1, 2020 (“Ordinance”; Portaria in Portuguese), established the procedures for the approval and monitoring of priority investment projects in the telecommunications sector, aiming at the issue of incentive debentures, in line with provisions contained in Law No. 12,431, dated June 24, 2011, which deals with the incidence of income tax, among other tax measures.
In order to implement and develop the Internet of Things (“IoT”) in Brazil, the National Plan of Internet of Things has been instituted by means of Decree No. 9854, dated June 25, 2019. According to this Decree, IoT is defined as “the infrastructure that integrates the provision of value-added services with capabilities of physical or virtual connection of things with devices based on existing information and communication technologies and their evolutions, with interoperability” (art. 2, I).
As it has occurred with government authorities in different countries worldwide, the issue of cybersecurity in telecommunications has also been the subject of attention by the Brazilian authorities. In fact, in Brazil, there are already several regulations dealing with the matter, among which we might mention Decree No. 9637, dated December 26, 2018, which instituted the National Policy for Information Security, Decree No. 10222, dated February 05, 2020, which approved the National Cybersecurity Strategy, and Normative Instruction No. 4, dated March 26, 2020, of the Institutional Security Office of the Presidency of the Republic, which provides for the minimum cybersecurity requirements that must be adopted in establishments of the 5th generation (5G) mobile telephony networks (see the Telecoms Series article entitled “Cybersecurity on Telecommunications Network”).
The telecommunications sector in Brazil is waiting for the events that will result in the future public notice of the 5G auction in the country, the requirements and technical aspects of which have not yet been definitively stipulated, even though, by means of Ordinance No. 1924/SEI-MCOM dated January 29, 2021, the Ministry of Communications has established guidelines for the bidding of the 700 MHz, 2.3 GHz, 3.5 GHz, and 26 GHz radio frequency bands, among other provisions.
At a meeting of its Board of Directors held last February 25, ANATEL (National Telecommunications Agency, the telecommunications regulatory body in Brazil) unanimously approved the full use of 1,200 MHz in the 6 GHz band (5,925 to 7,125 MHz) for internal unlicensed use. The decision resulted in Act No. 1306/2021 of the same Agency, which was published in the Brazilian Official Gazette (DOU) on March 04, and enables the availability of wireless Internet connections known as Wi-Fi 6E.
At its 896th Meeting held on February 25 of this year, the Board of Directors of the National Telecommunications Agency (ANATEL), the agency that regulates telecommunications in Brazil, approved the proposal for a new version of the public notice of the 5G technology auction that will take place in the country.
The Board of Directors of the National Telecommunications Agency (ANATEL) approved, at a meeting held on February 25, 2021, the proposal of a new version of the public notice of the 5G technology auction, which will take place in Brazil, aiming the issue of Authorizations for the Use of Radio Frequencies (RFs) in the 700 MHz, 2.3 GHz, 3.5 GHz, and 26 GHz bands.
In order to carry out the bidding procedure that will impact the implementation of the 5G technology in Brazil and will imply other benefits for the population in relation to the availability of telecommunications services, the Board of Directors of the National Telecommunications Agency (ANATEL) approved, in February 2021, the proposal of public notice for the auction of radio frequencies (RFs) in the 700 MHz, 2.3 GHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands.
In February 2021, the Board of Directors of the National Telecommunications Agency (ANATEL) approved the public notice draft proposed for the auction to be held in Brazil for the issuance of Authorizations for the Use of Radio Frequencies in the 700 MHz, 2.3 GHz, 3.5 GHz, and 26 GHz bands, which will result in the implementation of 5G technology in the country and other benefits for its population.
The National Telecommunications Agency (ANATEL), by means of its Board of Directors, approved in last February the version of the public notice proposed for the auction of radio frequencies (RFs) in the 700 MHz, 2.3 GHz, 3.5 GHz, and 26 GHz bands, which is expected to take place in Brazil in 2021.
In order to conduct the bidding that will result in the issuance of Authorizations for the Use of Radio Frequencies in the 700 MHz, 2.3 GHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands in Brazil, the National Telecommunications Agency (ANATEL), by means of its Board of Directors, approved in February of the current year the public notice draft proposed for this procedure.
Brazil is awaiting the unfolding of the process that will result in the largest auction of grants for the right to use radio frequencies (RFs) in its history, the respective public notice draft of which was approved by the Board of Directors of the National Telecommunications Agency (ANATEL) in the first quarter of this year.
We are closely following the unfolding of the process that will result in the expansion of access to connectivity and in the implementation of the fifth generation (“5G”) technological standard in the country, which will promote countless benefits for the society and the national economy as a whole.
Access to connectivity is, without a doubt, an extremely relevant issue for the development of a nation. In Brazil, just as it happened worldwide, this fact became even more evident with the changes in daily life caused by the Covid-19 pandemic from March 2020.
Since then, there has been a significant increase in demand for the provision of telecommunications services...
In Brazil, led by the National Telecommunications Agency (“ANATEL”), is advancing the process which will auction radio frequencies in the 700 MHz, 2.3 GHz, 3.5 GHz, and 26 GHz bands, establishing important guidelines for the implementation of mobile telephony networks with 5th generation technology (“5G”) in the country and the increase of connectivity in the Brazilian territory...