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This paper deals about the process of convergence in telecommunications and the evolution of the legislative and regulatory
framework. As convergence changes industry, regulation has to be adjusted to best fit these changes. The example of Brazil
is used in this paper to illustrate the analyses of regulation in the context of convergence.
Convergence can be understood as the set of technical and competitive changes that is altering the industry structure. In a
technical view, convergence means transmission and processing of any information upon digital networks. In a business
view, it means to offer access to information and communication anytime, anyplace, anywhere and any device. In a public
policy view, convergence demands the access of great part of population to all information and communication services or at
least to most of these services.
One of the most important issues to the convergence is the regime of service licensing. There are two ways to meet
convergence throw regulation reforms: a deep reform to unify licenses, like the European Union did, and gradual regulation
changes to adjust the current licenses for the convergence environment, like a large number of countries have done. Brazil
has five kinds of service licenses: fixed telephony, mobile telephony, data and multimedia services, pay-TV and broadcast.
The paper will show that the licensing model can become convergent through gradual changes in Brazilian legislation and
regulation if three conditions were met: (1) all range of services must be covered by the licensing and regulation framework;
(2) barrier to acquire licenses must be decreased and; (3) any firm could offer any service if it has the proper licenses.
The paper concludes that licenses and the regulation of some of telecom services in Brazil are not convergent today.
Nevertheless, government is promoting a reform to become them convergent. Two laws and several by-law rules are been
discussing. The paper presents the most important changes that subject this discussion and show some concerns that should
be considered to this success and effectiveness in meeting convergence.