Juarez Quadros, president of the National Telecommunications Agency (Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes, Anatel), has revealed that of the 58 regulatory initiatives that the watchdog intends to approve during the remainder of 2018, 20 of them relate to spectrum management – with a particular focus on the introduction of 5G technology. At the top of the regulator’s agenda is the re-auction of unused 700MHz spectrum licences (see below), although Anatel also intends to evaluate the 3.5GHz band for 5G use, ensuring there are no interference issues.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Anatel 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.