Brazil aiming to boost mobile uptake with PNBL-type plan

10 Jan 2012

Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S Paulo reports that the government is hoping to launch a new mobile telephony offer this year, based on a similar model to its burgeoning national fixed broadband plan (Plano Nacional de Banda Larga, or PNBL). The plan would be targeted at lower-income Brazilian nationals and would offer voice and mobile internet access worth up to BRL30 (USD16.25) a month if they qualified under the government’s social programme. Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo is quoted as saying the plan would involve mobile operators providing low-cost mobile packages with a sizeable amount of voice calls and data access, and that the plan is currently being developed by the ministry working with the market regulator Anatel. To qualify for the mobile version of the PNBL – which currently provides fixed broadband access to low-income households at a maximum BRL35 per month – users would need to receive some form of social benefit from the state, or be enrolled in the Single Registry for Social Programmes (CadUnico). Bernardo has called upon domestic cellcos to work with it to negotiate minimum parameters upon which such a plan could work and confirmed to the paper: ‘We are studying how we can do to have a package of services to both phone and internet for a lower price so that everyone can use the service.’

Brazil, National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel)