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Brazil’s Incentives For Wireless Infrastructure Provide a Model For Developing Countries

Nowhere has the mobile revolution had a bigger impact on people’s lives than in developing countries.  A recent TIME Mobility Poll, conducted in cooperation with Qualcomm, found that users of wireless technology in developing countries believe it has improved almost every facet of their lives from access to healthcare and education to government accountability.

The government of Brazil is turning this belief into action.  Well aware of the transformative power of mobility, the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, has led her government to take bold steps to accelerate the adoption of wireless technology. The Brazilian legislature, as part of its broader ``Brasil Maior’’ economic plan, recently approved a series of tax incentives to promote the use of personal wireless devices and the build-out of its wireless infrastructure to further unleash the power of mobile for economic and social benefit.

Two key provisions of these new tax laws underscore the government’s commitment to expanding the impact of mobile throughout the country:  a 10% tax exemption for smartphones manufactured in Brazil and a federal telecommunication fee (FISTEL) exemption for equipment and services related to the recently auctioned 450 MHz band.  Both of these provisions will make smartphones more accessible to consumers and drive adoption of wireless technology-- which President Rouseff rightly sees as a critical component for continued GDP growth. 

In addition to creating greater access to smartphones and growing the number of mobile users, the Brasil Maior initiative looks to spur growth broadly across the Brazilian IT industry.  As a component of that plan, the Brazilian government is supporting incentives to expand the nation’s 21st century wireless networks by cutting the federal taxes and providing telecommunications fee exemptions for equipment and services included in the national broadband plan. The provision specifically supports Brazil’s LTE networks which will be deployed in the 450 MHz band, a frequency plan unique to Brazil.

The TIME poll also revealed that, like the Brazilian government, Brazilian consumers view mobile devices as a critical tool to help them grow their businesses and create greater economic opportunity.  We applaud the government for acting swiftly and boldly to create an environment where this transformative industry can thrive and, in turn, support economic growth and prosperity.  Brazil’s  leadership in this area should serve as a model for other developing countries seeking to leverage the benefits of technology to improve the daily lives of its people.

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