5G in Brazil: Next Steps after the Bid

November 9, 2021

Bid’s Overview

After several postponements, Brazil’s Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) concluded the 5G bid, on November 5, 2021. It was the largest spectrum offer in the history of the Agency - 700 MHz, 2.3 GHz, 3.5 GHz, and 26 GHz bands had national and regional slots disputed between bidders. 26 slots were distributed to 15 winning companies that will have a 20 year-authorization to explore the slots. The three major carriers in Brazil (Vivo/Telefônica, Claro and TIM) won the national slots from the 3,5 GHz band, which is the most used for the 5G worldwide.

5G Deployment

The following contractual obligations were provided for in the bidding notice and will be complied by the companies according to each contract and schedule.

  1. 5G deployment over 26 capital cities and the federal district
  2. 5G deployment over all municipalities with more than 30,000 inhabitants
  3. 4G deployment over all federal highways of the country
  4. 4G deployment over all municipalities with more than 600 inhabitants
  5. Migrate satellite services that operate in the bandwidth C to the Ku bandwidth (frequencies above 10GHz)
  6. Enable internet connection for public schools
  7. Designing and developing an Integrated and Sustainable Amazon Forest Program (PAIS)
  8. Designing and developing a private secure network for exclusive use by the Federal Government

5G deployment requires an expansion of the base station structures in municipalities. This is considered one of the tough challenges as the regulation in Brazil is not uniform in this matter. Anatel regulates standards and general rules for telecommunications, but infrastructure deployment, e.g., building and installation permits, is an attribution of the municipalities law. The expected timeline for 5G Infrastructure expansion provides for time-scaled obligations based on the number of inhabitants per base station.

The existing rules in most of Brazilian municipalities impose restrictions to the deployment of antennas, base stations, and large telecommunication equipment. However, many municipalities are currently adapting their law to fit the 5G Project.

5G and Cybersecurity

Since 2020, Federal Government has been taking measures to regulate cybersecurity in the telecommunications sector. The following rules in force are applicable to the 5G and Cybersecurity deployment in the country and were issued by different stakeholders involved in regulating the matter.

For more information, Licks’ team is available at: regobl@lickslegal.com.