Held for the first time in the city of Rio de Janeiro, the largest Latin American telecom event, Futurecom, aims to promote the discussion of several important topics. People who attend the 14th edition of Futurecom certainly expect to discuss mobile and fixed broadband, the launch of LTE networks, 3G network optimization, M2M and MVNOs, among other issues.
For many years, Futurecom has attracted CEOs from all of Brazil’s telecom operators as well as top executives from vendors and prominent politicians. This time will probably be no different. For this year’s Futurecom, LTE roll out is expected to be one of the main topics, since Brazilian telecom regulator Anatel just held a spectrum auction in June. Now, it is time for carriers to start deploying new networks, and at the same time, they cannot forget to improve and expand their current 3G networks.
In addition to LTE, carrier CEOs might also explain—at least for journalists—what they have done to improve the quality of their services, following Anatel’s ban of three carriers from selling new chips. As noted by Informa’s Ari Lopes, this was a direct consequence of the increased focus on acquisition offers. “Not coincidentally, the only operator in the top four that was not banned is Vivo, the least aggressive in the price war,” he wrote in a recent Analyst Angle column.
The recently approved law that creates incentives for technological innovation, establishing programs to support broadband network installation, should also be on the agenda for discussion. President Rousseff did veto Article 34, which would have created tax credits for the telecom development Fistel fund in exchange for private investments in strategic projects. However, even without this provision, the new law gives Brazil’s telecom industry many reasons to celebrate.
The new law creates a series of tax incentives, especially for the telecommunications industry, such as tax relief for the deployment of new networks, including tax exemptions for smartphones, machine-to-machine (M2M) equipment and routers.
Indeed, over-the-top (OTT) services, as well as the forecasted increase in smartphone adoption, impact on carrier networks, is also a hot topic. Recently, the IDC reported that in Brazil, smartphone sales rose 77% in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period of 2011. IDC expects that the total mobile phone market will reach 62 million units in 2012, which is 8% lower than that reported last year. Of this total, IDC predicts 26% will be smartphones and 74% will be feature phones.
Regarding other Brazilian ICT challenges, Futurecom has put special efforts to include lectures and panels targeting CIOs and IT people on the trade show’s agenda. This year, the main topics are expected to be the need for improved and increased network capacity, the infrastructure required for the major events of the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics Games, as well as cloud computing, tablets, smartphone adoption and their impact on mobile enterprises, smart cities and smart grids.
>>> Check out last year coverage of Futurecom.