Eight bidders line up for 3G licence auction

12 Dec 2007

Brazil’s telecoms regulator Anatel yesterday confirmed that eight companies have submitted bids for the 3G licences it intends to auction on 18 December. According to BNamericas the operators wishing to participate are TIM Brasil, Vivo Participacoes, Telecom Americas (Claro), Oi (formerly Telemar), Brasil Telecom (BrT), CTBC, Telemig Celular and Nextel Brasil. Anatel did not reveal which regions the firms intend to bid for. Each of the country’s eleven mobile operating areas will have four licences, one of 30MHz and three of 20MHz, in the 1.9GHz-2.1GHz range. Anatel hopes to raise a minimum of BRL2.8 billion (USD1.57 billion) from the sale.

In a separate story, Anatel’s president Ronaldo Sardenberg says he expects the postponed auction for WiMAX licences will now be held in the first quarter of 2008. The auction was mothballed in 2006 due to a dispute between Anatel and the communications ministry over certain clauses of the bidding rules. While the regulator insisted that operators should not be allowed to bid for WiMAX licences in their existing concession areas, the ministry took the view that they should.