Full 5G coverage in Brazil could take more than eight years


The arrival of 5G to all locations in the country could take more than eight years. The schedule of the notice, whose auction of frequencies began this Thursday (4) in Brasília, requires operators to connect 100% of cities with more than 30,000 inhabitants to technology by July 31, 2029.

Anatel (National Telecommunications Agency) defined that the capitals and the Federal District will be the first to receive 5G networks, with a limit of July 31, 2022. Then come cities with more than 500 thousand inhabitants (in 2025), with more than 200 thousand (in 2026) and with more than 100 thousand (in 2027).

This is the deadline, but the technology could be successful sooner, depending on the competition in the market.

After the auction and signing of the contracts, the operators that took the so-called “filet mignon” of the 5G (the 3.5 GHz band), must constitute the EAF (band management entity), capitalize it and compose its board of directors.

Then, they need to “clean the band” (many people watch public TV through the satellite dish) and create the engineering projects to build the government’s private network and implement connectivity in the North of the country, two obligations imposed by the notice.

For Marcos Ferrari, president of Conexis, which brings together the large telephone operators, demand should dictate the speed of implementation and the population should spend a long time with 4G.

“The auction is the gateway, but until it starts working, it will take time. Operators can connect one location or another, but connecting them all is a longer process. 4G still has a lot to give to society,” he says.

Part of the companies’ obligations is to expand 4G connectivity. The Patria fund, for example, which purchased the 700 MHz frequency with national coverage, will have to take the fourth generation technology to more than 1,100 stretches of federal highways.

Of course, Vivo and Tim won the main tracks of the 5G auction this Thursday. Together, these companies will pay R$6.8 billion in grants to the Union.

Licenses were also purchased in the 700 MHz (megahertz) and 2.3 GHz frequencies. Patria, Brisanet, Consórcio 5G Sul, Cloud2U and Algar took blocks. Anatel decided to leave the batches in the 26 GHz band for Friday (5).

The government’s expectation is to collect, at most, R$ 9 billion with the auction in all frequency bands. They were valued at R$49 billion by Anatel, but the notice imposed mandatory investments (approximately R$40 billion) for up to the next 20 years, which will be deducted from the price of the licenses. The difference will go into the treasury box.


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