700MHz band now free in Sao Paulo; 68% of spectrum now vacated

24 Jul 2018

Brazil’s National Telecommunications Agency (Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes, Anatel) has confirmed that the 700MHz band has now been vacated by analogue TV providers in Sao Paulo – the country’s most populous city – paving the way for domestic cellcos to launch 700MHz 4G networks. The watchdog notes that the band has also been freed up in the nearby municipalities of Santo Andre, Sao Bernardo and Sao Caetano do Sul, all of which are located in Sao Paulo State. According to Anatel, the 700MHz band has now been freed up in a total of 3,803 municipalities, or 68% of the total.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that the Brazilian government auctioned off 698MHz-806MHz (700MHz) frequencies on 30 September 2014, generating a total of BRL5.85 billion (USD1.51 billion), well below the BRL7.71 billion target. The country’s three largest mobile operators by subscribers – Vivo, Claro and TIM Brasil – all picked up nationwide spectrum blocks, while Oi, Brazil’s fourth largest mobile operator by subscribers, opted to sit out of the auction. The band – which was previously used to transmit analogue TV signals – is being freed up on a rolling basis, and is expected to be fully cleared by November 2018.