Anatel initiates 5G auction consultation; proposes 3.5GHz spectrum for regional players

11 Feb 2020

Brazil’s National Telecommunications Agency (Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes, Anatel) has initiated a public consultation regarding its planned 5G spectrum auction. The consultation was launched on 6 February and will run for 45 days. The auction process, which was recently approved by the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications (Ministerio da Ciencia, Tecnologia, Inovacoes e Comunicacoes, MCTIC) will include spectrum in the 700MHz, 2300MHz, 3.5GHz and 26GHz bands.

Key items included in the new consultation include the provision of extra 3.5GHz frequencies, which will be restricted to regional operators. The watchdog notes: ‘With the addition of more bandwidth, in what will be the main band for the development of 5G [i.e. 3.5GHz], it will be possible to meet more comprehensively the demands that were presented, especially those of the Prestadoras de Pequeno Porte (PPP – ‘small providers’), which may be part of the development of this new technology.’

Other details under discussion relate to the proposed make-up of the spectrum blocks on offer, i.e. whether to divide the 26GHz band into 400MHz blocks (five national and three regional) or 200MHz blocks (ten national and six regional). In addition, existing 700MHz licence holders are expected to be prohibited from bidding on the 2×10MHz block of spectrum in that band.