The tentative date of December 2006 has been pencilled in for the Brazilian federal accounts court (TCU) to vote on whether to allow the country’s telecoms regulator Anatel to sell 3.5GHz and 10GHz spectrum licences, writes BNamericas citing local newspaper Estado de Sao Paulo. The court is waiting to receive a report from the watchdog concerning alleged ‘inconsistencies’ in the bidding rules for the auction. It suspended the process in September after it became concerned about some irregularities, such as an erroneous calculation based on the wrong exchange rate, which it claims could have cost the government BRL23 million (USD10 million) in lost revenue.
In a separate story, Brasil Telecom says it plans to roll out a mobile WiMAX network in the southern cities of Porto Alegre and Curitiba. In a statement, the country’s third largest fixed line operator said its current broadband infrastructure, which serves some 1.2 million clients, had reached its capacity, leading to its strategic decision to ‘target a technology of the future’. The operator has around 200,000 high speed internet customers in the cities in question, many of whom could potentially migrate to the WiMAX platform. Brasil Telecom’s WiMAX unit Vant was awarded licences in the 3.5GHz and 10.5GHz bands in 2003, with the aim of offering wireless data services in all of its concession areas.