US-based mobile technology developer Qualcomm predicts that the Brazilian regulator Anatel will auction licences for 3G mobile services in the first half of 2007. Qualcomm Brazil president Marco Aurélio Rodrigues told BNamericas: ‘Anatel set aside the spectrum in 2000…. There is no reason why the auction should be later than the first half of next year’. For its part, Anatel is remaining tight-lipped, although a spokesman for the watchdog pointed out that, ‘Anatel does not have an official deadline to hold a 3G auction’. The regulator is expecting to study the issue in 2007 and launched a consultation on the award of up to five licences for UMTS in July this year.
Qualcomm, however, is confident that the regulator will go ahead with the auction, and says that the five concessions on offer will each generate around USD200 million for the state. ‘Once the licences are issued, the main operators will be able to start offering services in the second half of 2007,’ Rodrigues said.