The CGR committee that manages roaming for Brazil?s 21 mobile telephone companies is appraising a proposal from Cleartech to enable call detail records (CDRs) to be exchanged via a special cryptographically encoded Internet circuit as an alternative to Embratel. The incumbent long-distance carrier and satellite operator currently has a monopoly on roaming-related clearance and settlement services. Although the CGR accredited Cleartech two years ago as such an alternative, none of the mobile carriers has been able to use it so far because Embratel won?t agree to let Cleartech have its CDRs. Thus a mobile carrier that wanted to bill through Cleartech wouldn?t be able to access the CDRs of a subscriber who placed calls outside its coverage area.
According to CGR Executive Director Alcides Maia, the committee meets Thursday, July 18, with representatives of Cleartech to obtain more details of the proposal. Next it will forward the proposal to all 21 mobile carriers, asking whether they?re interested. If they sign up to the system, they will be able to exchange CDRs over the Internet in parallel with Embratel?s clearing system. The CGR already runs a similar system for roaming in other Mercosur countries, he explains.
Embratel is rumored to be interested in selling its clearinghouse for a good price, and therefore needs to retain as many customers as possible. In the past it almost negotiated such a deal with TSI, a U.S.-based company with which it has an operating agreement, but in the end no agreement was closed. Embratel inherited its clearing contracts at the time of privatization.