* Brazil court denies TIM's appeal to reverse sales halt
* Major mobile carriers rush to present investment plans
* Claro exec sees sales resuming shortly
BRASILIA, July 23 A partial ban on new sales of
mobile phone plans took effect in Brazil on Monday, as telecoms
companies failed to overturn the measure in court and try to
convince regulators they can improve their poor customer
Anatel, Brazil's telecoms regulator, last week ordered
telecommunications firm TIM Participacoes and two
other leading carriers to stop selling new mobile plans in some
states in response to rising consumer complaints about dropped
calls and spotty coverage.
Brazilian Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo met with
executives from the carriers on Monday, later saying in a news
conference that 15 days should be "more than enough" time for
the companies to present investment plans and convince Anatel
that they will improve performance.
"We don't want to demonize the companies," Bernardo said.
"The problem is that they need to maintain a good relationship
with their consumers."
A Brazilian court on Monday denied a request by TIM to
overturn the decision, according to a court filing.
"For the past two years, the worsening quality of cellular
phone service in the country has been public and notorious,"
federal judge Tales Krauss Queiroz said in the ruling. He
concluded that "there is nothing illegal in the conduct of the
regulatory agency," and that the sales suspension was
"proportional" to the problems at hand.
According to Victor Cravo, Anatel's attorney general, TIM
can appeal to a higher court.
Representatives of TIM declined to comment on the ruling,
although the firm issued a statement later on Monday saying it
was complying with Anatel's decision and that "at this moment
all the company's efforts are focused on the national action
plan for improving personal mobile service."
The plan will be filed on Monday and discussed with Anatel
Rival telecommunications firm Claro, controlled by Mexican
billionaire Carlos Slim's America Movil, expects to
resume sales shortly in three states including Sao Paulo,
according to the company's chief executive officer, Carlos
Claro delivered its investment plan to Anatel on Friday, and
Zentano met with regulators to discuss the plan on Monday.
Anatel requested additional information from Claro, which
will be delivered later in the day.
"This week, we will work with the company, as we have to
discuss things a little more," said Bruno Ramos, private
services superintendent at Anatel.
Bernardo said Anatel was also looking into regulations to
govern the sharing of transmission towers among different
carriers for the eventual implementation of 4G telephony
services in Brazil.
Shares of TIM Participações closed trading on Brazil's
Bovespa stock exchange Monday with a 2.58 percent loss, while
shares of America Movil rose 1.29 percent on Mexico's IPC