Brazilian 5G auction delayed to Q1 2021 at earliest

26 Jun 2020

Leonardo Euler, the president of Brazil’s National Telecommunications Agency (Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes, Anatel), has stated that the country will not hold a 5G mobile licence auction until sometime in the first half of next year, reports TeleTime. In a conference call, Euler said: ‘We are working [to carry out the auction] in the first semester, at best, in the first quarter [of 2021].’ He noted that a crucial 3.5GHz testing programme focused on the coexistence of mobile broadband and TV services in the band has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ruling out any possibility of meeting an original target of holding the auction in 2020.

The 5G auction is expected to include frequencies in the 700MHz, 2.3GHz, 3.5GHz and 26GHz mmWave bands. Brazilian operators already possess some 700MHz spectrum, and Euler reiterated the possibility of refarming 4G frequencies to launch first-phase 5G networks under new protocols established by Anatel for multi-technology usage of pre-existing spectrum, although he also acknowledged that the 5G device ecosystem remains underdeveloped in the country. He stated: ‘So the beginning of 5G in Brazil does not depend only on the [upcoming 5G auction], companies already have the necessary [spectrum resources], whether in the 700MHz, 1800MHz or 2.1GHz [bands]. Evidently, there is still a lack in the ecosystem in terms of [user] terminals in the range. And the network’s development itself depends on the existence of this equipment.’