Brazilian 5G auction concludes; total bids reach BRL47.2bn

8 Nov 2021

Brazil’s National Telecommunications Agency (Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes, Anatel) has confirmed that its multi-band 5G spectrum auction drew to a close on Friday 5 November, generating total bids of BRL47.2 billion (USD8.5 billion). As anticipated, the 3.5GHz licences generated the highest bids: national 3.5GHz concessions achieved bids of BRL22.79 billion, while regional 3.5GHz licences accrued BRL7.92 billion. The 700MHz band attracted bidding commitments of BRL3.57 billion, 2.3GHz spectrum lots earned a total of BRL9.45 billion and the 26GHz band raised BRL3.45 billion.

Winning bidders include mobile giants Claro Brasil, Telefonica Brasil (Vivo) and TIM Brasil, alongside regional telcos such as Brisanet, Sercomtel and Algar Telecom. Private equity-backed Winity Telecom was a notable bidder for 700MHz frequencies, while various regional consortia also acquired selected spectrum blocks around the country.

Abraao Balbino e Silva, the President of the Special Bidding Commission, asserted that the spectrum sale represents the largest telecoms auction held in Latin America to date, commenting: ‘We never had an auction with such economic volume involved: privatisation did not yield that, 3G did not yield that, 4G did not yield that.’ The official noted, however, that around BRL7.44 billion of the total commitments will be converted into ‘goodwill’ bonds, which will see the winning bidders extend coverage to predetermined underserved areas.