The first day of Brazil’s long-anticipated 5G spectrum auction did not disappoint, bringing in bids totalling BRL7.089 billion (USD1.3 billion).
Local outlet TeleTime placed Claro as the highest bidder, pledging BRL1.632 billion for holdings in the 2.3GHz and 3.5GHz bands. Second place went to a more surprising participant – regional ISP Brisanet, which has lodged bids worth BRL1.466 billion for spectrum in the same frequencies as Claro. These bands also drew bids from TIM Brasil and Telefonica’s Vivo, which respectively bid BRL975.8 million and BRL966.7 million.
Brisanet was not the only regional operator to lodge a bid, with Algar Telecom and Sercomtel both winning holdings, while Winity Telecom – a holding firm with support from Blackstone and Patria Investments – bagging a nationwide 700MHz licence for BRL1.428 billion.
The auction results were published by regulator Anatel, which last month confirmed that 15 companies had applied to bid. Thus far, every block of spectrum sold in the auction has gone for significantly more than the reserve price. Anatel has estimated the economic value of the available spectrum as BRL50 billion, of which the government will retain BRL9 billion. The rest of the funds will go towards nationwide initiatives focused on improving coverage and digital services.
Brazil’s Minister of Communications Fabio Faria claimed that the country would offer “the first 5G in Latin America… We are going to show the world that Brazil is in the digital economy, taking care of the digital transformation.”
CommsUpdate notes that more frequencies will be made available today, including 26GHz millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum.