Anatel hopes 4G auction will raise BRL3.8bn

30 Apr 2012

Brazilian telecommunications regulator Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes (Anatel) expects that the forthcoming auction of mobile frequencies in the 2.5GHz and 450MHz bands will generate a minimum BRL3.8 billion (USD2 billion) for the government, BNAmericas reports. The watchdog intends to sell off 2.5GHz spectrum for use by Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile services, while winners of the 450MHz spectrum will use the frequencies to roll out wireless broadband services to rural parts of the country.

Under the tender outline, carriers which secure 4G spectrum will be required to launch services in the six Brazilian cities hosting soccer’s Confederations Cup by April 2013, and in the twelve host cities for the 2014 Football World Cup by the end of 2013, and all state capitals and cities with more than 500,000 inhabitants by December 2014. Brazil targets all municipalities with at least 10,000 inhabitants to have LTE service by 31 December 2016. Companies securing 450MHz spectrum will be those promising to offer the lowest price to consumers to deliver their broadband services. It is understood the government wants an offer on a minimum bundle of services for rural areas – including 100 minutes of voice and a broadband speed of at least 256kbps (downlink). If no acceptable proposals are received in the initial phase, Anatel will look to auction off the 450MHz band at the top price, alongside the 2.5GHz band. The country’s five leading cellcos – Telefonica Brazil (Vivo), TIM Participacoes (TIM Brasil), Telecom Americas (Claro), Telemar Norte Leste (Oi) and NII Holdings’ Nextel Brasil – are all expected to participate in the auction, while Sky Brasil (part of the DirecTV group) may also take part. On 5 June Anatel will begin studying prospective bidders’ identification and tax compliance documentation, as well as considering price proposals and other related information. No details have been given on how long the review process will take.