Telecoms regulator Anatel has declared that it will hold a public consultation period on the auction of fixed WiMAX licences in the 3.5GHz band before the end of 2008. Anatel has been unclear on the auction date for 3.5GHz and 10GHz spectrum licences for WiMAX services with board members expressing different views as to when it will take place. The initial plan to auction WiMAX licenses in September 2006 was suspended when Brazil’s federal accounts court TCU detected irregularities in the bidding rules such as the use of an outdated exchange rate.
In a separate story, a board member of Anatel, Pedro Jaime Ziller, has revealed that the watchdog is still awaiting a report from Telefonica on how it plans to keep separate its interests in Vivo and TIM Brasil. As part of a consortium, the Spanish company acquired an indirect stake in Telecom Italia – TIM Brasil’s parent – in the second half of last year, giving it a share in the ownership of two of the country’s leading cellcos. Communications minister Helio Costa has been reported as saying that Telefonica would have to reduce its investment in either Vivo or TI. It has until 5 May to submit its plans.