The Cape Verdean capital Praia hosted last 23-26 April the fourth General Assembly of the Association of Communications and Telecommunications Regulators from the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (ARCTEL-CPLP) and the third Lusophone Communications Forum, as well as the second Technology Show.
The General Assembly, a statutory ARCTEL meeting, considered points of order concerning annual work such as the presentation and approval of the previous year’s annual report and accounts, approval of the general activities plan for the next biennium and election of the chair, vice-chair and secretariat for the 2012-2013 biennium.
From the standpoint of consolidating ARCTEL’s position as a convergence platform for information, regulation or even technical and technological capacity-building, various proposals were presented, standing out among which are creation of the following bodies:
- Lusophone (Portuguese speaking) Communications Observatory, meant to systematically and regularly provide via an electronic platform information on the telecoms market in ARCTEL member countries, to enable analysis of the sector’s economic situation and the quality and reliability of electronic communications services;
- Working group on roaming, space open to private sector participation and meant to promote discussion of the pros and cons of regulatory aspects concerning roaming and international communications prices in general and in the CPLP space, evaluating, defining and designing, based on that discussion, a voluntary model for limiting international communications prices between CPLP countries;
- ARCTEL academy, a training centre based on an autonomous and sustainable model, able to generate own revenue managed by ARCTEL, also meant to establish partnerships while maintaining the current one with the ITU.
Elections were also held for the ARCTEL governing bodies. Gibril Mané (NRA, Guinea-Bissau) was elected chairman, João Resende (ANATEL, Brazil) vice-chairman and Filipe Batista (ANACOM) secretary.
The theme topic of the third Lusophone Communications Forum was “Trends, Panorama and Challenges of International Roaming”, with the speakers mirroring the transverse nature of that topic in the communications sector (regulators, international associations, operators and consumer defence associations). The proposed goals associated to debating roaming as a means for dissemination, which due to the high costs involved also hampers telecoms sector development, were met and even exceeded. This led to consideration of creating a working group to analyse lower international roaming costs in the CPLP space.
Also noteworthy was the second Technology Show, an initiative to allow sector players to publicise progress in the Lusophone (Portuugese speaking) space and facilitate contracts, partnerships and opportunities in the business sector.