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Brazil's big four secure 4G licences
|14 июня 2012|
All four major telecommunications companies in Brazil on Tuesday secured new licenses to offer mobile high-speed Internet services, paying prices that were largely in line with expectations.The Brazilian government wants the winners of the bidding to launch 4G services in some of Brazil's major cities in time for the Confederations Cup soccer tournament to be held in mid-2013. Critics have argued that Brazilian telephone companies are still rolling out 3G networks, so the sale of 4G licenses are an additional and unnecessary burden.
On Tuesday, the operators all noted the significance of the auction.
"It's an important day for telecommunications in Brazil," said Mario Girasole, regulatory affairs director at TIM Participacoes SA, a unit of Italy's Telecom Italia SA. "It's significant that the operators want to invest."
TIM bought one of the four nationwide licenses on offer, but opted for one of two licenses with less capacity. It paid BRL340 million for 20 megahertz in the 2.5 gigahertz range, a premium of 8% over the minimum price set by Anatel.
In a telephone interview, Girasole said there's a balance between price and capacity, as more spectrum requires more investment. In TIM's view, the additional cost of the extra capacity available in the other licenses wasn't attractive, he said. Moreover, the block which TIM purchased includes some commitments to rural data services, which ties in with the firm's existing licenses, he said.
The telecom operators will have to work together to share infrastructure, so as to be able to reduce the cost of installing 4G technology, Girasole said."There's no point in duplicating four 4G networks," he said.
The two nationwide licenses with the most capacity on offer were sold for the highest premiums.
Telefonica Brasil SA, of Spain's Telefonica SA, won one of the licenses with a bid of 1.1 billion Brazilian reais ($533 million), a premium of 75% over the minimum price, while Claro, of Mexico's America Movil SA, paid BRL845 million, or 34% over the minimum price.
The president of Claro, Carlos Zenteno, said more spectrum capacity would allow it to provide faster data speeds, according to the Convergencia Digital website.
"Those that bought just [20 Mhz] will be able to offer [speeds] of 40 megabytes per second. In our case, with [40 MHz], we will achieve up to 100 Mbps. That's why we think this block is so important, the best for our strategy."
Antonio Carlos Valente, president of Telefonica Brasil, said in a statement that the company had "achieved its goal" with the purchase.
Oi SA paid BRL331 million, a premium of 5%, for 20 Mhz of capacity.
"This frequency is ideal for the transmission of a large volume of data in the large urban centers," said Francisco Valim, president of Oi, in a statement. Oi is investing a total of BRL24 billion through 2015, including BRL6 billion this year, the company said.
Источник: Total Telecom