President enacts mobile infrastructure sharing law

24 Apr 2015

A law dictating new standards on mobile infrastructure deployment and sharing, the ‘Antenna Law’ (Law 13,116 / 2015), has entered into force having been signed by Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff and published in the federal Official Gazette on 22 April 2015. According to Brazil’s Minister of Communications Ricardo Berzoini, quoted in the Presidential web portal blog, the aims of the new law include reducing the duplication of mobile network antennae in urban areas via a requirement for cellular operators to share infrastructure, whilst encouraging investment in expanding network service footprints, thereby improving the availability and quality of mobile voice and broadband services. In addition to laying down guidelines on sharing newly deployed infrastructure, the Antenna Law also makes it compulsory to share the excess capacity on existing mobile network sections, while the measures are also expected to achieve environmental benefits, the blog added.

A report from Brazilian news site Teletime noted that some of the ambitions of the original Antenna bill were subsequently reined in by a total of six vetoes from various state departments. In one such veto, the Ministry of Finance argued that despite the worthy goals of some of the more far-reaching proposals, it opposed certain proposed measures which it said would have ‘assigned to the government a significant part of the definition of investment strategies of companies providing telecommunications services’, with the ministry furthermore explaining that ‘[in proposing] a specific procedure for monitoring instead of setting quality goals, provisions of the [vetoed] articles could hamper differentiation and technological innovation to improve the service by providers and thus restrict competition.’