Anatel reveals 3G licence rules

19 Oct 2007

The Brazilian telecoms regulator has finally published the long-awaited bidding rules for the country’s upcoming 3G licence auction. Earlier this year it published proposals for the bidding rules and began studying industry feedback on its recommendations in mid-August. The watchdog plans to auction 44 concessions, four for each of Brazil’s eleven telecoms operating areas. The auction is expected to start on 18 December and the government hopes to generate at least BRL2.8 billion (USD1.57 billion) from the process. BNamericas reports that licences will be offered in the F, G, I and J bands, while the H band will be auctioned at a later date. Next week, Anatel will publish the proposals gleaned from the public consultation that are to be incorporated into the bidding rules, in its official gazette.

Anatel has retained the obligations for licence winners that were included in the original draft rules published in August. These include the stipulation that licence winners in the most profitable zones, such as Sao Paulo metropolitan area and Sao Paulo state, must also provide 3G service in remote areas – such as the north. The regulator has also maintained its position on 3G coverage requirements: licensees will be required to provide coverage of 50% of urban areas in state capitals and cities with more than 500,000 people two years after receiving their licences. In addition, licence winners must, by the same date, have rolled out 2G cellular services or better in the 2,000 municipalities with under 30,000 inhabitants that currently have no service at all. By the end of the eighth year at least 60% of all small municipalities should have 3G.