Personal Mobile Service
Specialized Mobile Service
Brazilian Satellites

Recent proposals by ANATEL (the Brazilian Telecommunications Agency) regarding the Brazilian telecommunications sector concern:

  • the re-issue of a notice with invitation to bid for the remaining personal mobile service (SMP) bands;
  • the holding of a public consultation on the provision of the specialized mobile service (SME); and
  • the recommencement of the notice with invitation to bid for Brazilian satellites.

Personal Mobile Service

In response to requests from personal mobile service providers, ANATEL declared a public auction during May, June and July 2002 so that the providers of the personal mobile service (bands D and E) and the mobile cellular service (bands A and B) would have the opportunity to acquire radio frequencies in the 1.8 gigahertz band (previously dedicated to band C).

Originally, the auction was to take place between May 3 and June 19 2002. However, ANATEL extended the period by 45 days through Act 26,356 of June 14 2002, pursuant to which the period ended on August 3. At that point, a new period was opened for interested operators to submit the pertinent documentation to the agency.

ANATEL established obligatory migration to the personal mobile service as a condition to mobile cellular service providers acquiring new frequencies. Limits were also set on the acquisition of radio frequencies, to afford greater flexibility to those operators wishing to expand their spectrum and improve service quality.

Another significant development in the personal mobile service sector is the recent announcement that ANATEL is to republish the notice with invitation to bid for those D and E bands remaining from previous invitations to bid. The text of the notice will be modified in terms of minimum prices, which will be based on the same reference values but with a reduction proportional to the population of each area.

Specialized Mobile Service

ANATEL conducted a public consultation of proposed alterations and deployment of the necessary radio frequencies for provision of the specialized mobile service between July 5 and August 5 2002. Public Consultation 391 sought the public’s views on ANATEL’s proposed changes.

The most controversial change proposed by ANATEL is its amendment of the spacing between transmitting and receiving radio frequencies. If adopted, this will make radio frequencies compatible with other technologies, thereby increasing the number of product options in the market.

Brazilian Satellites

Finally, on August 1 2002 ANATEL published a notice resuming the invitation to bid for Brazilian satellites. ANATEL attempted to conduct the invitation to bid almost a year ago, but was prevented from doing so by a decision of the Federal Audit Court which disapproved of the proposed methodology for calculating the minimum price of bids. This time the minimum price for the bids is R$4.31 million, up from R$3.3 million.

In total, 17 orbital slots have been made available and any company that is incorporated according to Brazilian law may participate in the bidding process. However, any one company may win a maximum of just three slots.

The deadline for bids is September 17 2002. Winning bidders will have three years to launch the satellites and may choose between frequency ranges in bands C, Ku, Ka or L. To date, six orbital slots notified by Brazil with the International Telecommunciations Union are used by Brazilian companies, five of which already have operational geostationary satellites.

For further information on this topic please contact Ricardo Barretto or Eduardo Carvalhaes at Barretto Ferreira, Kujawski, Brancher e Gonçalves – Sociedade de Advogados by telephone (+55 11 3066 5999) or by fax (+55 11 3167 4735) or by email ([email protected] or [email protected]).