It’s finally happening. The long-awaited Brazilian 5G spectrum auction is set to go ahead on 4 November.
While there have been a number of delays on the way to this announcement, it seems that regulator Anatel is finally ready to carry out what will be the largest spectrum auction it has ever managed.
And expectations are certainly high. Government officials have suggested that the companies involved could pay up to 45 billion reais ($8.5 billion) for the operating licenses for the four different frequencies to be auctioned.
Reuters adds that the winning bidders will be required to invest about 40 billion reais (approximately $7.48 billion) in 5G infrastructure; the level of capital expenditures will also be considered as part of the bid value.
While the full rules of the auction are expected to be published later today, we already know that two obligations for auction winners are to bring high-speed internet to thousands of schools and to build 4G infrastructure along roadways.
This auction has been a long time coming. August saw a confident prediction from Brazil’s Minister of Communications Fabio Faria that the country’s delayed 5G spectrum auctions would finally take place in October this year. But Anatel put off a decision on the rules on 13 September with board members at the regulator requesting further time for analysis. Anatel's board approved the auction in an extraordinary meeting last Friday.
Earlier suggested auction dates included June, July and August this year, as well as dates in 2020, although the coronavirus has clearly made things difficult.
Faria has said that Sao Paulo and other large Brazilian cities will have 5G networks working by the end of the year and that all state capitals will have the technology by July 2022.