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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Brasil Mobile Group Pays $1.3 Billion In Auction


June 13, 2012 12:34 am

Brazil mobile groups pay $1.3bn in auction

Brazil’s major mobile phone carriers have paid a total of R$2.6bn ($1.3bn) for spectrum for high-speed fourth-generation networks as Latin America’s biggest economy prepares for major sporting events in the next four years.
Aside from the major cellular operators, which include Vivo, a unit of Spain’s Telefónica; Claro, controlled by Mexico’s America Movil; Tim, controlled by Telecom Italia; and Oi, part-owned by Portugal Telecom, investor George Soros’ Sunrise Telecomunicações also bought spectrum.

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“The sale aims to meet the growing demand for telecommunications services and to provide the appropriate infrastructure for the major international events that the country will host in the coming years,” said Anatel, the industry regulator and the host of the auction.
With the upcoming soccer World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics two years later, Brazil next week will get a taste of the kind of pressure its creaking infrastructure will face, as Rio de Janeiro hosts 50,000 visitors for the Rio+20 international environmental summit, which promises to overwhelm its hotel infrastructure and create traffic chaos in parts of the city.
Brazil’s telecommunications market is one of the world’s fastest growing as its growing middle class takes to the mobile internet.
The country is already one of the biggest markets for social media thanks to the high proportion of young people in its population, leading the government to invest in broadband networks to facilitate more internet access.
The bandwidth lots auctioned by Anatel on Tuesday included 2.5GHz spectrum and 450MHz spectrum for rural areas.
By the end of 2016, all towns with a population of more than 100,000 people would have to be integrated into the fourth-generation networks, Anatel said.
Those networks serving cities that will host the Confederations Cup, a precursor competition for the World Cup, would have to be operational by next April and those serving the World Cup host cities by the end of 2013.
“By December of 2015, rural areas up to 30 kilometres from the centres of all municipalities will be covered by the 450MHz band with voice and data,” Anatel said.
George Soros’ Sunrise paid R$19m for its two allocations of spectrum.
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