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Why Standardization Is Fundamental for the IoT in Brazil

Government officials, business leaders and experts are unanimous in upholding the maintenance of international standards as a factor of competitiveness.
By Edson Perin
Sep 17, 2017

Whenever the Brazilian government appears to organize something in the area of information technology (IT), the ghost of the Law of Informatics rises from the catacombs. The memory of the National Information Technology Policy (PNI)—or Computer Law—still causes chills. PNI was launched in 1984 and was aimed at stimulating Brazilian industry, thereby creating a market reserve for national capital companies.

However, due to this government action, the country has experienced a technological backslide and has not glimpsed the great ocean of opportunity that was intended. Why? Well, imagine having to wait for a Brazilian to incarnate Steve Jobs before the Brazilian iPhone can be launched—only then could you have a smartphone from Maçã SA—because Apple's importation would be prohibited in Brazil, and the company certainly would not open a local factory.

Thales Marçal Vieira Netto
Now, the federal government resolves again to anticipate what should be, in the opinion of some (or many) industry entrepreneurs, an exclusive market initiative. With this, many people already smell strange odors in the air. Some avoid the possibility that new difficulties will arise in order to sell facilities. Others see the emergence of a jabuticaba (a type fruit that only grows in Brazil) protocol, which contributes little to anything except those who sell adapters.

If we start from the basics, why should the government worry about the Internet of Things (IoT)? If it is not to lower taxes for companies established in the country (which, in itself, would be a huge benefit), then how should the government make its contribution? After all, for most Brazilians, the mass of money that goes out of the market to the public coffers—as we have seen in the investigations of Lava-Jato, for example—has returned as benefits to undue people.

Thus, I (as the editor RFID Journal Brazil) searched for sources of government and industry to determine what is expected to be achieved with the National Internet of Things Plan, announced in December 2016. The fruitful project originated with the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES); the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications (MCTIC); and a consortium formed by McKinsey & Co., CPqD, and Pereira Neto & Macedo.

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