The purchase of Nextel through the sure has already been released by Where is it (Administrative Council for Economic Defense), but the TIM asked the agency to reconsider approval without restrictions. The Italian operator claims that the deal will bring spectrum concentration and cause imbalance in the Brazilian market.
The acquisition has important advantages for Claro: this includes the customer portfolio, which is the absolute majority of the post-paid service, as well as the licensed frequencies. Nextel operates commercially only in the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, but has a national spectrum in frequencies of 1.8 GHz and 2.1 GHz.
In a document delivered to Cade, TIM says that the concentration of the spectrum guarantees to Claro a “privileged position of ownership of essential input”, which would generate dominance in the market.
O Cade’s technical opinion recognizes that “at first the acquisition of Nextel’s spectrum may give Claro a competitive advantage”, but that competitors have technical alternatives to expand capacity, mainly in the 5G auction to be held in 2020.
TIM disagrees, saying that these alternatives do not resolve the issue and could worsen the concentration. She concludes by stating that it is necessary to adopt measures to “limit, albeit temporarily, the competitive advantage that Claro will have after the operation”.
For this reason, the operator suggests that part of Nextel’s frequencies be destined for the exclusive use of competitors, as long as they have a difference of 45% or more in spectral resources compared to Claro.
Of course will have to return Nextel spectrum
Anatel establishes a maximum limit of 35 MHz of spectrum below 1 GHz concentrated by a single operator, which totals 71.4 MHz of capacity.
This means that, after the acquisition of Nextel, Claro will push the limit in São Paulo (DDDs 11 and 12), Rio de Janeiro (DDD 21), Rio Grande do Sul (DDD 51), Distrito Federal (DDD 61), Tocantins (DDD 63), Pará (DDD 91), Amazonas (DDD 92) and Maranhão (DDD 98).
Nextel’s license below 1 GHz is on the frequency of 800 MHz, previously used with iDEN (radio) technology. The range could be used in band 26 of 4G, but most of the available devices are not compatible. In the world, this band is used only in Japan and the United States (and only by the operator Sprint, recently purchased by T-Mobile).
In the bands above 1 GHz, the maximum limit per provider is 172 MHz. With the current rules, Claro would not need to readjust its licenses: the operator would have between 110 MHz and 150 MHz available for use. Check the table below:
|Region||sure||Nextel||Claro + Nextel|
|SP (capital)||80 MHz||50 MHz||130 MHz|
|SP (interior)||90 MHz||20 MHz||110 MHz|
|RJ and ES||90 MHz||40 MHz||130 MHz|
|MG||110 MHz||40 MHz||150 MHz|
|PR and SC||110 MHz||20 MHz||130 MHz|
|LOL||90 MHz||20 MHz||110 MHz|
|Midwest, RO, AC and TO||90 MHz||20 MHz||110 MHz|
|North and MA||95 MHz||40 MHz||135 MHz|
|BA and SE||105 MHz||40 MHz||145 MHz|
|Other Northeast States||80 MHz||40 MHz||120 MHz|