Brazil’s National Telecommunications Agency (Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes, Anatel) is set to consider increasing the spectrum caps currently applied to each operator, potentially paving the way for a large-scale merger. According to local news site TeleSintese, the proposal – which was presented by Anatel board member Otavio Rodrigues – would see the spectrum cap for sub-1GHz bands increase from 29% of the overall spectrum in circulation (per operator) to 35%, while the cap for spectrum in the 1GHz-3GHz range would rise from 21% to 30%. A public consultation is now anticipated, the report notes.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Anatel is set to stage a tender for previously unsold 700MHz spectrum in the second half of 2018. The watchdog initially auctioned the 700MHz band in September 2014, generating a total of BRL5.85 billion (USD2.39 billion) – well below its BRL7.71 billion target. While Vivo, TIM Brasil and Claro all picked up nationwide spectrum blocks, Oi did not participate in the auction. Likewise, regional operator Algar Telecom acquired spectrum within its own footprint, but Sercomtel opted not to. Another concession – nationwide barring the Algar/Sercomtel operating regions – also went unsold.
Going forward, Anatel is also set to free up spectrum in the 2300MHz-2400MHz band for mobile use – revoking the frequencies from Auxiliary Broadcasting and Related Services (Servicos Auxiliar de Radiodifusao e Correlatos, SARC) and replay TV (Repeticao de Televisao, RpTV) licence holders. No date for that tender has been set, however.