Client Alert

Implementation of 5G in Brazil

A liberal model so far – opportunities to engage on public consultations

As previously reported, Brazil’s 5G auction is on its way, as ANATEL (Brazil’s Telecommunication Agency) released the 5G Public Notice’s draft to public consultation – (ANATEL’s Public Consultation #09). The Public Consultation’s term is April 17, already considering the Agency’s decision to postpone in 15 days the original deadline, due to the regulated sector requests and COVID-19 pandemic.

ANATEL is pursuing a comprehensive strategy to facilitate 5G in Brazil. This strategy includes three key components: pushing more spectrum into the marketplace in 5G auction; updating infrastructure policy; and modernizing outdated regulations. It must be noted that ANATEL has made auctioning 700 MHz, 2,3 GHz, 3,5 GHz e 26 GHz bands, to 5G deployment in the country, a priority for 2020 Agenda.

In addition to the Public Consultation, complementary regulation was recently issued by the Federal Government, through the Security Office, regarding requirements for equipment operating in 5G networks in Brazil. Normative Instruction #04/2020 (IN #04, March 27) defines cybersecurity parameters that must be complied with by all companies that operates 5G networks. This matter was not addressed by ANATEL in the bid documents.

With the disclosure of ANATEL’s draft Public Notice and the publication of IN #04/2020, Brazil has so far adopted a liberal model for 5G network, as there were no restrictions set by these regulations. The only restrictions provided for the auction are not focused on equipment’s security, but on mechanisms to avoid market concentration in certain geographic areas.

IN #04/2020 establishes eight guidance principles: (i) interoperability; (ii) availability; (iii) integrity; (iv) authenticity; (v) diversity; (vi) confidentiality; (vii) priority; and (viii) accountability. Those principles are reflected in the 22 requirements set by IN #04/2020. Provisions are mainly focused on assuring that ANATEL and Brazilian public entities and authorities will be able to supervise and inspect the services provided, ensuring safety and quality to users and compliance with IN #04/2020 and technical regulation in force. All providers’ equipment is also going to be subject to security audits. The audit system and structure to be adopted will come in future regulation, to be issued by ANATEL.

Until 5G auction is carried out, it is possible that there will be further changes in the regulatory framework, considering that 5G auction Public Consultation is still ongoing. ANATEL is also working on four regulatory processes to technically complement the provisions of IN #04/2020. It is important to note that the ANATEL is not allowed, in its normative power, to create additional restrictions to IN #04/2020.

The draft of each technical regulation is going through notice-and-comment procedure in ANATEL, to refine their content (Public Consultations #06, #11, #12 and #13). The regulated sector may contribute until May 02 for #06, #11 and #12 and until May 17 for #13.

- Public Consultation #06: update of the requirements for assessing the technical compliance of Transceivers for Radio Base Stations when operating in the frequency range FR1 (Frequency Range 1) defined by 3GPP (450 MHz to 6,000 MHz), aiming to include requirements for evaluation of equipment that operates with 5G NR technology.

- Public Consultation # 11: update of the requirements for assessing the technical compliance of Mobile Cellular Phones when operating in the frequency range FR1 (Frequency Range 1) defined by 3GPP (450 MHz to 6,000 MHz), aiming to include requirements for evaluation of equipment operating with 5G NR technology.

- Public Consultation #12: update of the requirements for assessing the technical compliance of the Access Terminal Station, when operating in the frequency range FR1 (Frequency Range 1) defined by 3GPP (450 MHz to 6,000 MHz), aiming to include requirements for evaluation of equipment that operates with 5G NR technology.

- Public Consultation #13: updates of the minimum cybersecurity requirements for terminal equipment that connect to the Internet and for telecommunications network infrastructure equipment. The new cybersecurity standard seeks to update ANATEL’s technical guidelines to the National Cybersecurity Strategy (established by Decree #10.222/2020), and to IN #04/2020.

Licks Attorneys is monitoring the regulatory processes and public consultations regarding 5G in Brazil. We also participated as regulation experts on the 5G auction Public Hearing, held on ANATEL’s headquarters on March 12, in Brasilia.

For more information regarding the matter, email us at info@lickslegal.com.

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