Telecommunications products, such as cell phones, for example, must be approved by Anatel (National Telecommunications Agency). This process ensures minimum standards of quality and safety for the consumer. When importing products for their own use, the consumer must observe the rules of Anatel and the Ministry of Finance (Ordinance MF No. 440/2010).
When buying mobile phones abroad, the user should observe, in the equipment’s instruction manual or the manufacturer’s website, if the device is compatible for operation in the frequency bands used in Brazil. In addition, it is expressly forbidden to sell imported devices for their own use.
If the imported equipment does not support one or more frequency sub-ranges used in the country, it may not work in Brazil or operate with limitations. The phone may, for example, not be compatible with all carriers or not work with all technologies (3G, 4G). In other words, a 4G capable communication device may have its functionality limited to 3G technology due to incompatibility with the frequencies adopted in Brazil.
It is worth noting that not every country requires the quality and safety tests on batteries and chargers required by Anatel. Thus, mobile phones purchased abroad may not have the same safety standards as the equipment approved by Anatel.
It should also be clarified that, even if a certain make / model of device is approved in Brazil, there are no guarantees of operation: the product purchased abroad may have different technical characteristics from the model approved for Brazil, especially in relation to the frequency bands used for communication on mobile operators’ networks.