International and domestic companies have offered a total of BRL5.3 billion (USD2.94 billion) to acquire the rights to offer 3G mobile services in the country. According to Reuters the sum represents a premium of 90% over the government’s minimum asking price of BRL2.8 billion, set before the auction began. A number of telcos are keen to launch 3G services in one of the world’s largest and fastest growing mobile markets, and analysts predict the total market to grow to 131 million users by end-2008, up from 116 million at the start of this month.
The regulator Anatel, said that eight companies took part in the three-day auction that ended yesterday. America Movil’s Telecoms America (Claro) unit snapped up nine licences; TIM Brasil, a unit of Telecom Italia, bought eight; Vivo, a joint venture between Portugal Telecom and Spain’s Telefonica, acquired seven; and Oi, the mobile arm of domestic fixed line operator Telemar took five.