Talk of pirates may lead to thoughts of black flags, eye patches, and sassy parrots.
But what constitutes “piracy” has evolved with time. Today’s sellers of uncertified telecom equipment might be surprised to see themselves categorized with Blackbeard and Captain Jack Sparrow.
Consider the recent raids Brazil conducted as part of its Action Plan to Combat Piracy (known by its Portuguese acronym PACP).
On September 17, Brazil’s regulatory agency ANATEL seized 23,000 suspect telecommunications products in 11 states: Paraná, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Amazonas, Goiás, Pernambuco, Piauí, and Tocantins. The investigation is ongoing.
ANATEL oversees the homologation process to certify electronic products. It also combats the commercialization of non-homologated products (aka, “piracy”) because uncertified telecom equipment can affect telecommunications networks and their users.
Uncertified telecom products can even endanger critical operations such as aeronautical communications.
The ANATEL raids, led by 55 inspectors in 20 teams, were prompted by complaints from telecommunications manufacturers and associations about the marketing of non-certified products such as optical equipment, restricted radiation transceivers, and television set-top boxes.
Lesson: companies keep tabs on their competitors, legitimate or not — and are eager to enlist law enforcement to punish illegal competition. Distributors of illegitimate goods have to watch out not just for the government but also for frustrated legitimate competitors.
The penalties for violation of Brazil’s laws can include hearings and sanctions (although not, as far as we know, the gallows that awaited scofflaws of yore.)
And to think all this trouble is so easily avoided… Companies simply have to get their telecom equipment certified before offering it for sale.
That’s why LARCG exists. We know all about the certification process in Brazil, and throughout Latin America. That’s why many of the most trusted names in telecommunications trust us to secure the certifications they need to safely market to millions of potential customers in Latin America.