posted on 9/25/2021 06:00
Anatel reported that the 5G event should move at least R$49.7 billion – (credit: AFP / Pau BARRENA)
The National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) has set the 5G auction for November 4th. The decision was taken yesterday, when the autarchy approved the final version of the notice with the rules for the implementation of the fifth generation technology standard for mobile and broadband networks, which was analyzed by the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU for six months) ).
The bid notice with all details should be published next Monday. In the tender, four radio frequency bands will be offered: 700 MHz, 2.3 GHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz. The government’s intention is that by July 2022, the 26 capitals and the Federal District will have 5G coverage.
Anatel informed that the 5G event should move at least R$49.7 billion, a little more than the R$45.6 billion initially forecast. According to the agency, the auction will not be fully collected, that is, the federal government will not keep the total value of the deal.
According to the notice, the companies that win the dispute will pay at least R$ 10.6 billion in grants to the Executive to guarantee the right to explore 5G in Brazil. The remaining amount, of at least R$ 39.1 billion, will have to be used to guarantee investments in the communication area.
In the notice approved by Anatel, there are at least six counterparts that will be required from companies that win the auction. One of them concerns the implementation of a private communication network for the Palácio do Planalto and the other bodies that make up the federal administration.
This was one of the points of greatest concern for the TCU, which feared the possibility of the government circumventing the spending ceiling, a constitutional amendment that limits the increase in expenses due to the previous year’s inflation, by using part of the proceeds from the auction for this purpose.
The government denied any possibility of breaking the ceiling. “The resources will be deposited in an account associated with the entity to be created (to operationalize the implementation of the private network), which will have a governance mechanism to ensure the transparent and secure management of these resources”, highlighted the Telecommunications secretary of the Ministry of Communications, Artur Coimbra.
The companies that won the auction will also have to adopt measures to ensure better coverage of mobile internet and cellular networks in cities with at least 600 inhabitants, where the signal is weak or non-existent. According to the notice, these locations must be served with 4G technology or higher.
Another rule for the implementation of 5G is that companies will need to make resources available to install fiber optic transport networks in the Northern Region, through the Norte Conectado program. Another required counterpart is to bring quality mobile internet to public schools of basic education.
Companies will still have to allocate resources for the distribution of kits to low-income families registered in the Cadastro Único for social programs that depend on satellite dishes to have access to open TV. These kits with converters will allow them to continue to have access to the TV signal, as places that still depend on satellite dish transmissions will have to adapt to the digital TV signal to avoid interference with the arrival of 5G.
“The implementation (of 5G) will enable us to develop Brazil and place it within the global digital economy, improving our sectors. Putting agro connected, bringing telemedicine to health, connecting and bringing the internet to 40 million Brazilians who are currently suffering, without any access so that they can study, even remotely, or work”, commented the Minister of Communications, Fabio Faria.
For commercial radio frequency bands, any telecommunications company interested in participating can compete in the auction. However, for the network exclusive to the federal government, the Executive imposed some barriers. The main one affected will be the Chinese Huawei. As much as it is one of the largest companies in the sector in the world, Planalto believes that it does not have the minimum transparency requirements to provide such an important service.
In Brazil, some companies have already expressed interest in participating in the event. Yesterday, TIM’s board of directors approved the company’s participation in the auction. “5G will provoke a revolution in several sectors and represents an enormous opportunity for the development of Brazil. It will also be a catalyst for the emergence of new technology solutions, bringing a series of benefits to the industry, the most relevant being the enabling of IoT (Internet of Things) in a massive way, with very high speed and low latency solutions”, he highlighted Pietro Labriola, CEO of TIM Brasil.
On the other hand, entities representing regional internet providers, such as the 5G Brazil Initiative, regretted the confirmation of the auction date. “The option not to adjust the text in order to enable the fair participation of new entrants will compromise not only regional providers, but also agribusiness and residents of more than 5,500 Brazilian municipalities — 95% of the total”, pondered the association .