Anatel Regulation for Satellite Communication and Equipment

Anatel institutes specific requirements for telecommunications equipment based on satellite transmissions used in Brazil. In this article we will detail the regulation for this type of communication and equipment in the country.

Anatel Satellite Regulation

The Brazilian Telecommunications Agency, or Anatel, is responsible for regulating all telecommunication that takes place in Brazil, which includes the reception and transmission of communication signals through orbiting satellites.

The question of satellite transmissions, due to their wide coverage, can be grounds for questioning the possibility for its regulation, especially when dealing with signals transmitted from one country to another. For example, how can a TV transmitter from another country be regulated when its signals reach Brazil using an orbiting satellite?

Like other mediums in the telecommunications market, such as open television and FM radio, satellite transmissions are regulated by Anatel through the equipment they use and require a specific, expirable license to reach or be commercialized in Brazil. All orbiting satellites whose transmissions serve Brazil, including TV signals, internet or telephone, are licensed by Anatel to operate their specific type of communication and are compiled in a list of Satellites Authorized to Operate in Brazil found on the agency’s website.

Additionally, Anatel institutes regulation for companies who intend to use an orbiting satellite for telecommunication services in the country, also requiring a specific license to permit the use of this type of communication. Some interesting aspects of this regulation include that these companies should prefer the use of a Brazilian satellite instead of a foreign one when choosing the equipment for its services and that foreign companies who operate telecommunications in Brazil through satellite must have an established legal representative in the country.

Homologation for Satellite Communication Equipment

Similar to other equipment used for telecommunications, satellite communication equipment must be homologated by Anatel before it can be used or commercialized in the country. More details about Anatel product categorization and procedures for homologation can be found in our articles What Products Require Anatel Product Homologation in Brazil and How to Obtain an Anatel Product Homologation.

The satellite telecommunication equipment required to undergo homologation by Anatel are:

Category I

  • Satellite Telephones
  • Satellite Subscription TV Signal Receivers

Category II

  • Satellite Signal Transmitters
  • Satellite Signal Emitting Antennas
  • Land or Marine Satellite Signal Transceivers
  • Converters of signals for Satellite Emission
  • Fixed Satellite Signal Modems
  • Satellite Signal Amplifiers
  • Satellite Signal Modulators

An important note about this list is that equipment dedicated only to the reception of satellite signals, which is the case for parabolic antennas used for TV reception and GPS devices, are not required to undergo Anatel homologation. The procedure is only required if the equipment also feature some sort of data transmission, such as wi-fi, bluetooth or satellite signal emission, in which case they must be tested according to the specific type of signal transmission.

Technical Requirements

Besides common requirements for homologation, such as strict testing to determine the device’s technical description accuracy and to assure compliance to Brazilian electricity and electromagnetic safety and working condition standards, satellite communication equipment is also required to undergo specific tests to ensure the quality of data transmission.

Satellite Phones

One specific case in this list are Satellite Telephones, which need to comply to standards by the European Telecommunication Standards Institute, or ETSI. These specific standards for telecommunications prohibit the occurrence of incidental emissions within and out of the device’s working frequency range.

Satellite Transceivers

Other types of equipment, like satellite signal transceivers are required to comply to standards instituted by Anatel. These requirements refer to the occurrence of incidental emissions within and out of the device’s working frequency range, limits to the intensity of the device’s electrical field and the functioning of the device’s controlling methods.

Satellite Communication Equipment for Marine Vessels

Brazilian marine vessels, besides from being required to have all telecommunication equipment homologated by Anatel, also need to apply for a license to take part in transmissions, including satellite-based data communication and emergency signal transmitters.

This means that companies operating these vessels must contact Anatel and complete a form, called the Marine Mobile Service Application, or Requerimento de Serviço Móvel Marítmo in Portuguese, and receive authorization from Anatel to establish telecommunications from the watercraft. This form includes the following information requirements:

  • Information about the Brazilian company or private individual owner of the vessel
  • Specifications about the vessel and its safety measures, in case it should take part in the Global Marine Distress and Safety System
  • Specifications about the vessel’s telecommunication equipment, all of which must be certified and homologated by Anatel

Brazilian marine vessels and foreign vessels used for commercial activities under Brazilian jurisdiction must also register their ESV, or Earth Station on Board Vessel, under Anatel’s Banco de dados técnicos e administrativos, or Technical and Administrative Database. This can be done via the agency’s website and requires the following information to be submitted:

  • Description of the vessel’s route, including docking locations and coordinates of the route’s limits
  • Name, national flag and registry number of vessel
  • Declaration that the station will interrupt transmissions if required by Anatel

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