Brazil raised a total of 47.2 billion reais ($8.5 billion) in its recent 5G spectrum auction, making it the second largest auction of assets in the country’s history, according to the government.
Through this auction, the government offered spectrum in the 700 MHz, 2.3 GHz, 3.5 GHZ and 26 GHz bands.
The government noted that the total raised includes the prices for the right to use licenses, and investment commitments tied to each band as well as the premium paid.
The country’s main mobile operators, Vivo, Claro and TIM, secured 5G spectrum as well as telecoms operators Algar Telecom and Sercomtel. Also, six new entrants secured 5G spectrum in the auction.
Vivo spent over 1.7 billion reais to acquire 5G licenses, followed by Telefonica’s Vivo, with over 1.1 billion reais and TIM, with an overall investment of over 1 billion reais. The government confirmed that these three telcos acquired spectrum in the 2.3 GHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands.
Meanwhile, Algar Telecom paid 64.7 million reais to acquire regional lots in the 3.5 GHz, 2.3 GHz and 26 GHz bands. Sercomtel paid 82 million reais for a regional block in the 3.5 GHz band.
The new entrats that secured licenses in the auction are Winity II Telecom, Brisanet, Fly Link, Neko Serviços e Comunicações and Entertainment and Education, Consórcio 5G Sul and Cloud2U Indústria e Comércio de Equipamentos Eletrônicos.
Winity spent 1.4 billion reais to acquire a national block in the 700 MHz band for 4G, which will enable the firm to become a new mobile player at a national level.
Meanwhile, Brisanet paid more than 1 billion reais for a regional block in the 3.5 GHz band in the northeast region. Brisanet also secured a regional block in the 3.5 GHz band in the mid-western region, with a bid of 105 million reais, as well as a regional block in the northeast in the 2.3 GHz band, with a bid of 111 million reais.
Brazilian Communications Minister Fabio Faria said that the government may schedule a new 5G spectrum auction to sell batches that did not attract interest, mainly in the 26 GHZ spectrum band. Faria noted that the 26 GHZ spectrum did not attract interest due to uncertainties in the business model.
The rules previously approved by telecommunications watchdog Anatel stipulate that 5G should be deployed across Brazilian state capitals by July 31, 2022.
Brazilian cities with more than 500,000 inhabitants will have 5G by July 31, 2025, while the deadline for the rollout of the service in locations with more than 200,000 inhabitants is July 31, 2026. Also, Brazilian cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants will have 5G by July 31 2027, and the service will be available in locations with more than 30,000 inhabitants by July 31, 2028.
The rules also oblige operators to cover the vast northern Amazon region with broadband connectivity, chiefly using optic fiber cables laid in rivers, and build a separate secure network for the federal government.