Brazilian telecommunications operator Algar Telecom has launched a commercial Non-Standalone (NSA) 5G service using its newly acquired 2.3GHz spectrum.
The launch means that Algar is the first Brazilian player to utilise frequencies secured in the recent multi-band spectrum auction, said a press release from the Grupo Algar's telecommunications and IT company.
According to Algar Telecom, the quick launch was possible because the 2.3 GHz range was already free to use. The operator invested in transport network structures, network core, and service platforms. The company also has five lots on the 26 GHz frequency and one on the 3.5 GHz frequency.
The 5G network went live on 15 December and covers selected parts of Uberlandia and Uberaba, as well as Franca in Sao Paulo. The 5G network is available in 22 neighborhoods of Uberlandia and 13 in Uberaba (both in the state of Minas Gerais), as well as seven in the city of Franca (Sao Paulo).
Algar had carried out demonstrations of 5G technology two weeks ago in Uberaba via an implementation carried out together with Nokia and with a focus on agribusiness.
The Minister of Communications, Fábio Faria, had anticipated in his hearing before the Senate last week that Algar would be the first telco to launch 5G services in the country.
“Algar Telecom has over 30 years of experience in mobile telephony and a pioneering history to be maintained. We always offer access to the most innovative and modern telecommunications services in the cities where we operate and that's why we made every effort to make 5G available as soon as possible. We can say that today is the beginning of a relevant change in the way our customers will connect with each other and with things”, said Márcio De Jesus, vice president of ServC at Algar Telecom.
Brazil raised a total of 47.2 billion reais ($8.5 billion) in its recent 5G spectrum auction, making it the second-largest auction of assets in the country’s history, according to the government.