Anatel unlikely to amend 700MHz auction rules, report says

8 Sep 2014

BNAmericas writes that Brazil’s telecoms watchdog Anatel is unlikely to amend the terms of the forthcoming 700MHz frequencies auction, despite grumbling from a number of domestic operators – including Telefonica (Vivo), Claro and TIM Brasil – over certain contentious rules they would like to see ‘suspended’. The board of Anatel met last Thursday and its head, Joao Rezende, says that the regulator will review the operators’ complaints. However, the online journal notes that on previous occasions the watchdog has ignored complaints centred on disagreements over the rules of the auction – notably at the auction of 4G 2500MHz spectrum, when cellcos also complained about some of the terms and conditions. The country’s federal audit court TCU has already given the green light to the terms – approving them last week (with minor caveats) – although the carriers are still concerned that the rules set a minimum for (but do not place a cap on) the amount of money cellcos would have to distribute among TV broadcasters, which are vacating the 700MHz band, for things such as cleaning up the spectrum and installing interference-mitigation filters. They have also balked at the requirement that existing 4G licensees (i.e. the big four) must make an ‘extra payment’ and a rule that means they must wait for twelve months after the analogue switch-off before they can use the 700MHz for 4G. Bids will be received on 23 September, with the tender slated to begin one week later, on 30 September.