Anatel halts GSM auction to review Unicel bid

18 Jan 2007

Brazil’s telecoms regulator Anatel has called a halt to the auction of a GSM licence in the greater São Paulo area to review a bid made by local phone company Unicel do Brasil Telecomunicações, writes BNamericas citing local newspaper Valor Econômico. The regulator suspended the auction on 16 January to study documents presented by Unicel in accordance with the auction’s licensing rules. If the carrier’s bid is approved, Unicel will become the fourth player in the São Paulo market alongside Vivo, TIM Brasil and América Móvil’s Claro.

It is not the first time Unicel has tried to secure the concession. Previously it was the sole applicant for the permit in February 2006, but its application was refused after it refused to provide the minimum 10% guarantee on the BRL93.8 million (USD43.5 million) licence fee, opting instead to offer just 1%.