A series of proposed changes to the 5G auction brought greater insecurity to operators regarding the bidding process. Executives of TIM and the Live they fear that the model suggested by Anatel’s Vicente Aquino, will require more expenses from national operators.
Vivo’s president, Christian Gebara, said during the Futurecom telecommunications fair that the auction cannot have a tax bias; and it must have feasible and realistic coverage objectives with the needs and lots of spectrum required by the technology.
Aquino’s proposal regionalizes the licenses: several frequencies would no longer be sold in a national bloc to be sliced between 14 regions. In addition, spectra in the 2.3 GHz bands onwards would be divided into 10 MHz lots. In theory, the measure would enable new regional operators, but Gebara says that the bidding also needs to enable the operation of those with national coverage.
Gebara states that the need for spectral width at 3.5 GHz is at least 80 MHz, and that 10 MHz blocks are insufficient for 5G, which needs a continuous, unpartitioned frequency.
TIM president Pietro Labriola, on the other hand, fears that fragmentation could attract financial investors. Splitting the spectrum into 10 MHz fragments would create small blocks, which speculators could buy and then resell to operators. This would be possible because Anatel approved the new spectrum model that makes the secondary market viable, in which one company can sell the license to another. Like the 5G auction, the rules for the secondary market are not yet established.
Vivo continues unhurried for 5G auction
With the technology and auction model uncertain, Vivo remains in no hurry for the process to happen. Gebara stated that he does not mind an eventual delay in carrying out the bidding if this brings greater security to the investments. It is possible that the event will only take place at the end of 2020, both due to the counselor’s proposal and due to possible interference with open TV via satellite.
Of the four major operators, Vivo is the only one that has not publicly presented a test with 5G technology. Claro experiments with technology at Futurecom and made a musical presentation using holograms transmitted by the network; Oi has already done tests with 5G in Búzios and Rock in Rio; finally, TIM has already installed the technology in some municipalities and will have a public tasting in stores in several Brazilian cities.