Wednesday, 13th June 2012 by Joe Rowley
Brazil closes first 4G bid
Anatel closed its first ever auction of broadcast licences for fourth generation (4G) broadband in Brazil yesterday, in what is being described as the “most complex radio frequency bid” ever hosted by the telecoms regulator.
The auction is the first time 4G broadband licenses have been allocated in Brazil. (Credit: wyrls)
Raising a total of 2.56 billion reais (US$1.24 billion) from Brazil’s four biggest carriers, the auction allocated licences to provide wireless broadband coverage ahead of the 2014 World Cup.
Under Anatel’s regulations six 4G bands were up for grabs, covering both nationwide and regional provision of 4G services at 10 MHz and 20 MHz speeds.
Brazilian telecoms company VIVO and Mexico’s Claro, with Italy’s TIM and Brazil’s Oi winning the right to offer the service at 10 MHz speeds nationwide. TV Filme, which is part of Sky Group, and Swiss telecoms company Sunrise each won the right to supply 10 MHz of 4G broadband in a handful of Brazilian cities, with Oi also successfully bidding for the envelope to supply 10 MHz broadband in various cities.
VIVO turned to Rolim, Viotti & Leite Campos, Machado, Meyer, Sendacz e Opice Advogados and Pereira Neto | Macedo Advogados for the bid. Claro is understood to have turned to Azevedo Sette Advogados, with Sunrise drawing upon telecoms boutique A&R Consultoria em Telecomunicações for the auction, although this could not confirmed before publication.
The latest bidding round follows the auction of 3G bands in 2007 and 2010. In 2007 TIM turned to Mundie e Advogados to advise on its successful bid for a licence to supply 3G services in six of Brazil’s state capitals, with the bidding round three years later seeing Nextel enter Brazil with the help of Motta, Fernandes Rocha – Advogados.
Rolim Viotti partner Rodrigo Azevedo Greco is regular counsel for VIVO and represented it in the 2010 3G auction. He says that the 4G bid was far more complex than the previous 3G bids, since certain obligations imposed on the winners, such as minimum footprint coverage, are much more extensive. “In my opinion, [these obligations] make the bid most complex radiofrequency bid held by Anatel so far,” he adds.