Brazilian telecom minister Paulo Bernardo has called for a requirement for carriers to share network infrastructure. “Wireless carriers have announced that all towers and antennas for LTE will be shared. This is sensible and correct. They will gain from it; they will save money. Cities will also benefit because there will be less towers in the urban space. It is a matter of logic,” Bernardo said in a recent interview with RCR Wireless News syndicate partner Convergência Digital (read more and watch the video—in Portuguese).
According to Bernardo, the competition based on infrastructure is predatory. “We have had many discussions over the question of sharing with companies. Now Anatel must take action by voting to approve the General Plan for Competition (PGMC), and sharing will be required. I’ve seen carriers talking about going to court. I doubt this will succeed because judges also want good service, as happened with the suspension of sales,” he added, referring to Anatel’s recent suspension of TIM, Claro and Oi from selling mobile services in certain states.
During the interview, Bernardo said the recent measures to suspend sales were a signal that Anatel will no longer discuss the problems with the telecom operators indefinitely. He said that Anatel will act with all the necessary support from the government.
“The essential problem is that we have a quickly growing market which has not been accompanied by sufficient investment to maintain service conditions. Anatel’s decision was not sudden. This was talked over extensively; [carriers] were fined. But if we don’t reach an understanding, there comes a time when we have to take stronger action,” the minister said.
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