According to the UK’s Financial Times newspaper, Brazil’s auction of 5G spectrum, planned for March, has been delayed, with no new date set.
The paper suggests that this could be a major setback for the country in terms of tax revenues and investments. However, it does mean that Brazil will not, for now at least, have to deal with the question of whether or not to include Huawei in its 5G plans, thus avoiding angering the US, which is continuing to pressure allies to exclude the Chinese company, which already has a strong presence in Brazil.
That said the reason for the delay is somewhat more prosaic than whether or not Huawei’s technology has been used for spying, as the US alleges. Apparently the March auction deadline has been missed because regulator Anatel is dealing with a dispute over the rules.
The Anatel board will not meet before February, which will delay planned public consultation and a judicial review. That means there will be no auction until late this year or, more likely, early next year. In fact a spokesperson for Anatel has already been quoted as saying that the public consultations had been postponed and that there was no current timetable for the auction.
If and when it happens, this promises to be a big 5G auction and an important financial boost for the country. By contrast, postponement could cost Brazil billions in lost revenues, depending on how long the delay turns out to be.