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Brazil 5G spectrum sale raises $8.5 bn in bids

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National licences and several regional allocations went to Claro, TIM, and Vivo

The long-awaited Brazil 5g spectrum sale raised a total of $8.5 billion making it the second-largest auction of assets in the country’s history, according to media reports. National licences and several regional allocations went to the primary operators; America Movil’s Claro, Telecom Italia’s TIM Brasil and Telefonica’s Vivo.

Additionally, new player Winity II also won a nationwide block in the 700MHz band, but the business is yet to announce its plans. Other telecom operators like Sercomtel, Brisanet, Consorcio 5G Sul, Cloud2u, Algar Telecom, Neko and Fly Link won regional or limited licenses during the auction.

Brazilian regulator Anatel released a statement, saying that the 700MHz, 2.3GHz and 3.5GHz bands were sold and estimated that the value of the unsold licences are between BRL7 billion and BRL8 billion and they will be offered at a later sale. Anatel also announced that this is the largest ever spectrum offering in Latin America and it has been a success from every possible perspective.

President of the Special Bidding Commission Abraao Balbino e Silva told the media, “We never had an auction with such economic volume involved: privatisation did not yield that, 3G did not yield that, 4G did not yield that.”

Silva also said that of the total bids, around BRL7.44 billion would be converted to goodwill bonds and the winning bidders will be supplying network coverage to pre-selected underserved regions in Brazil.

Brazilian Communications Minister Fabio Faria mentioned that the government may schedule a new 5G spectrum auction of the remaining bonds that did not attract investment mainly in the 26 GHz spectrum band. The communications minister also noted that the 26 GHz spectrum did not attract interest due to uncertainties in the business model.

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