February 24, 2014
Robin Emmott – Reuters, 2/24/2014
Brazil and the European Union agreed on Monday to lay an undersea communications cable from Lisbon to Fortaleza to reduce Brazil’s reliance on the United States after Washington spied on Brasilia.
At a summit in Brussels, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said the $185 million cable project was central to “guarantee the neutrality” of the Internet, signaling her desire to shield Brazil’s Internet traffic from U.S. surveillance.
“We have to respect privacy, human rights and the sovereignty of nations. We don’t want businesses to be spied upon,” Rousseff told a joint news conference with the presidents of the European Commission and the European Council.
January 16, 2014
AP – Economic Times, 1/16/2014
Brazil’s state-run telecom company Telebras has said that a submarine cable for Internet transmissions between Latin America’s biggest country and Europe will be laid starting this year.
Spokesman Ronald Valladao yesterday said the company’s board authorised Telebras to sign an agreement with Spain’s IslaLink Submarine Cables to lay and operate the cable. He said the $185 million project is expected to begin operating in early 2016.
Telebras will have a 35 per cent stake in the Brazilian company that will be formed to operate the trans-Atlantic cable while IslaLink will have a 45 per cent stake and another Brazilian partner will have a 20 per cent stake, Valladao said.
October 28, 2013
Joe Leahy & Daniel Thomas – Financial Times, 10/27/2013
In Brazil, it was once accepted wisdom that four telecom operators was the correct number to ensure good levels of profit versus competition.
But in recent weeks, events in Europe are being felt across the Atlantic as Telecom Italia prepares for a possible sale of its Brazilian asset, Tim Participações, a manoeuvre that could leave the Latin American market with only three major players.
This is already having repercussions among rivals with Portugal Telecom and Brazil’s Oi signing up for a merger ostensibly to prepare themselves for consolidation.
October 4, 2013
Astrid Prange & Janara Nicoletti – Deutsche Welle, 10/03/2013
Brazil has decided to free itself from the embrace of its big brother to the north. Ever since the NSA data spying affair became known, the government has begun looking for ways to decentralize global data communication.
“It doesn’t make sense for data between Brazil and Uruguay to run via Miami,” says the Brazilian secretary of state of telecommunication, Maximiliano Martinhao. He told Deutsche Welle that, ever since the NSA revelations, the long-planned development of South America’s own fast Internet infrastructure has become a major priority.
Martinhao says that preparations are already completed for the so-called Optical Ring, which will join twelve South American countries with each other, as well as with Europe and Africa. The project encompasses some 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles) of optical cable, and work on laying the cables will start at the beginning of 2014.
September 19, 2013
Anna Edgerton – Bloomberg, 09/18/2013
Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) and Huawei Technologies Co. are losing clout in the world’s fifth-largest telecommunications market as Brazil’s government backs smaller local companies that pledge to block foreign spying.
Officials have intensified conversations with communications hardware makers such as Padtec SA and Datacom, betting they can get greater protection against the possibility of so-called back-door security holes in foreign-made products. While discussions have focused on government-operated networks for now, they open the door for the companies to take a greater role in the networks of Brazil’s publicly traded phone carriers.
Allegations that the U.S. was snooping on its South American ally led Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff this week to cancel a state visit to Washington. The rising tensions are creating opportunities for closely held Padtec and Datacom, which had already established government ties through contracts with state-owned Telecomunicacoes Brasileiras SA. (TELB3)
August 7, 2013
Brad Haynes – Reuters, 08/06/2013
A new Brazilian telecommunications company backed by billionaire financier George Soros plans to invest at least 500 million reais (US$218 million) over the next three years, executives said on Tuesday, ramping up competition among Internet providers in a cooling market.
A fund run by Soros is set to invest at least $150 million, giving him a majority stake in On Telecom, which offers home and office connections over fourth-generation (4G) cellular networks, Chief Executive Officer Fares Nassar said at a news conference.
The technology is aimed at markets with little or no broadband cable coverage, exploiting a lack of fixed-line investments in many regions. By the same token, Brazil’s mobile phone market exploded over the past decade as cellphones became a first telephone line for millions of remote households.
July 25, 2013
Ryan Lizza – The New Yorker, 07/24/2013
One of the more curious revelations from Edward Snowden’s trove of secret N.S.A. documents was a recent report that United States spy agencies have been vacuuming up communications in Brazil. Glenn Greenwald, who lives in Brazil, broke this story in O Globo, one of that country’s major newspapers, on July 6th. Greenwald, in an follow-up piece in the Guardian, pointed to a rough Google translation of his original July 6th report:
In the last decade, people residing or in transit in Brazil, as well as companies operating in the country, have become targets of espionage National Security Agency of the United States (National Security Agency – NSA, its acronym in English). There are no precise figures, but last January Brazil was just behind the United States, which had 2.3 billion phone calls and messages spied.…
Brazil, with extensive public and private networks scanned, operated by large telecommunications companies and internet, is highlighted on maps of the U.S. agency focus primarily on voice traffic and data (origin and destination), along with nations such as China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan. It is uncertain how many people and companies spied in Brazil. But there is evidence that the volume of data captured by the filtering system in the local telephone networks and the Internet is constant and large scale.
July 9, 2013
The Associated Press, 07/08/2013
The Brazilian government began an investigation Monday into whether telecommunications firms operating in the country cooperated with the U.S. as part of a spying program that has collected data on billions of telephone and email conversations.
Anatel, the government agency that regulates the telecom sector in Brazil, said it’s working with federal police and other government agencies on the investigation.
The O Globo newspaper reported this weekend that information released by the National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden showed Brazil is the top target in Latin America for the NSA’s massive intelligence-gathering effort aimed at monitoring communications around the world.
April 17, 2013
Sergio Spagnuolo – Reuters/Yahoo News, 04/17/2013
As Brazil rushes to introduce a blazing-fast fourth-generation wireless network before the 2014 World Cup, fewer than a dozen compatible smartphones will be available in stores, compared with the hundreds of models on sale worldwide.
And the phones will be operational in a just few cities at first.
The launch of 4G services is crucial for Brazil to modernize its thinly stretched telecommunications infrastructure and ease the burden on 3G networks, which currently support over 68 million data users, according to regulator Anatel.
November 16, 2012
Matthew Malinowski, Telma Marrotto – Bloomberg Businessweek, 11/16/2012
Brazil’s telecommunication regulator Anatel ordered Tim Participacoes SA (TIT) to suspend its Infinity Day Promotion because of concerns over its quality of service.
The Infinity Day Promotion consists of unlimited calls at a fixed price for 24 hours between telephones operated by Tim. The company said it disagrees with Anatel decision as there is no evidence of “any potential of network instability,” according to an e-mailed statement.
Tim executives “are ready for a clarification meeting with Anatel in Brasilia,” the company said in the statement. Shares fell 3.7 percent to 7.72 reais in Sao Paulo, the second-worst performer among members of the benchmark Bovespa index.