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Soros acquires pay-TV firm Sunrise, casts gaze towards 4G auction

30 May 2012

An investment fund owned by the Hungarian billionaire George Soros has agreed to purchase Sao Paulo-based pay-TV provider Sunrise Telecomunicacoes, which offers wireless cable services over a multichannel multipoint distribution service (MMDS) network operating in the 2.5GHz band. Given that the aforementioned frequency band is intended for use for 4G (mobile) services, the move has prompted speculation that Soros may mount a bid for a licence at Anatel’s forthcoming 4G spectrum auction in June. Local press reports say that Soros’ investment vehicle is in a hurry to conclude the deal in time, and has already filed an application with Anatel, seeking approval for the Sunrise takeover, a vote on which is expected Thursday. Under the watchdog’s 4G auction rules, local MMDS operators have until 5 June to inform it whether or not they intend to sell off their unused frequencies in the 2.5GHz band. Industry watchers note that Sunrise has an interest in acquiring additional blocks of spectrum in the auction to further its 4G ambitions.

Launched in 2000, Sunrise Telecomunicacoes is active in twelve municipalities of Sao Paulo, including Campinas, Ribeirao Preto, Sao Jose do Rio Preto and Sao Jose dos Campos.

Brazil, Sunrise Telecomunicacoes

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