By Alberto Alerigi
SAOPAULO -Brazil’s government has scheduled an auction of fifth generation (5G) mobile spectrum for Nov. 4, with expectations that it will raise around 10 billion reais ($1.87 billion) based on the minimum bids allowed, government officials said on Friday.
The winning bidders will be required to invest about 40 billion reais in 5G infrastructure, the government predicts, with the level of capital expenditures also considered as part of the bid value.
Among the obligations for auction winners, they must bring high-speed internet to thousands of schools to building 4G infrastructure along roadways.
Communications Minister Fabio Faria announced the date of the auction on Friday on Twitter. Full rules for the auction are expected to be published on Monday, according to telecoms regulator Anatel.
Anatel had put off a decision on the rules on Sept. 13 with board members at the regulator requesting further time for analysis. Anatel’s board approved the auction in an extraordinary meeting on Friday, the minister said.
Last week, Faria said Sao Paulo and other large Brazilian cities will have 5G networks working by the end of the year and all state capitals will have the technology by July 2022.
The 5G auction will be the largest spectrum auction ever managed by Anatel. The Brazilian government expects companies to pay up to 45 billion reais ($8.5 billion) for the operating licenses for four different frequencies to be auctioned.
($1 = 5.3441 reais)