The National Telecommunication Agency (ANATEL) has submitted for public consultation draft bid documents in preparation for the public auction of the 700 megahertz (MHz) band for fourth generation (4G) mobile services. The proposal was available for public consultation until June 3 2014.

According to the draft public notice, those that submit the highest bids will be chosen as the winning operators. It is estimated that the auction for the 700 MHz band will generate about R$7.5 billion in revenue for the federal government. The auction is expected to be held in August 2014.

According to ANATEL, 4G mobile services will be fully implemented by the end of 2017. The implementation schedule is as follows:

  • By April 30 2013, 4G was to be available in the six host cities of the Confederations Cup (ie, Brasilia, Recife, Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Fortaleza).
  • By the end of 2013, 4G was to be available in the six capital cities that are hosting World Cup 2014 (ie, São Paulo, Porto Alegre, Cuiaba, Curitiba, Manaus and Natal).
  • By December 31 2014, 4G will be available in all capitals with over 500,000 inhabitants.
  • By December 31 2015, 4G will be available in all cities with more than 200,000 inhabitants.
  • By December 31 2016, 4G will be available in all cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants.
  • By December 31 2017, 4G will be available in all cities with more than 30,000 inhabitants.

ANATEL has approved many pieces of 4G equipment. However, much of the equipment that works with 4G technologies in other countries may not work in Brazil due to industrial policies of manufacturers, which homologate such products in frequencies that are not supported in Brazil.

With the use of the 700 MHz band, ANATEL has promised that Brazil will adopt the same 4G mobile service standards as applied in other countries, such as the United States. According to ANATEL, it will even be possible to bring mobile telephone and broadband coverage to rural areas at a lower operating cost, since the 700 MHz range is ideal for covering large distances.

Currently, 4G in Brazil works at a radiofrequency of 2.5 GHz – the same frequency used in 27 countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Tests indicate that it is entirely possible for broadcasting and telecommunications in this radiofrequency range to coexist.

Claudia Elena Bonelli, Marcela Waksman Ejnisman, Fernando Cinci Avelino Silva.

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