By Luciano Nascimento
In Brazil, 5G technology will be available in the capitals of all 27 states by July 2022. The tender offer for auctions of radio frequency ranges for the provision of telecom services through 5G in the country has been approved by Brazil’s national telecom body Anatel, and is now pending a report from the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU). The court is expected to conclude the assessment of the tender still in the first half-year.
Anatel also decided, at a meeting held on February 25, that the immediate adoption of the standalone standard will be mandatory, which demands the implementation of a network independent from the current 4G grid.
This technology can boost data traffic up to a hundred times faster than the fourth generation, as it uses a more comprehensive radio spectrum, allowing mobile devices to connect simultaneously, with more stability than current networks.
In addition, the technology benefits the use of smart tools, the interconnection of equipment and machines in real time, as well as the internet of things.
“5G technology is a catalyst for new forms of technology, like artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and mixed reality,” said Anatel President Leonardo de Morais at a presser on the offer’s approval. “It is an umbrella term optimizing and encompassing several other forms of technology,” he added.
The approved tender offer includes the licensing of radio frequencies in the ranges of 700 MHz, 2.3 GHz, 3.5 GHz, and 26 GHz. According to Anatel, the availability of such frequencies will usher in a larger volume of spectrum resources so that providers may expand their networks.
The proposal also lays out coverage duties for winning operators, among which investing in the offer of 4G technology or superior, in addition to establishing backhaul systems in underserved areas.
In municipalities with 500 thousand people or more, the deadline for 5G implementation is July 2025; in those with more than 200 thousand, July 2026; and those with a population upwards of 100 thousand, July 2017.
Sixty percent of municipalities with fewer than 30 thousand people are estimated to be served by December 2027, a goal that rises to 90 percent by December 2028, and 100 percent by December 2029.
Anatel also stipulated that the 6 GHz range should be completely used for the improvement of wireless broadband WiFi internet equipment in Brazil—the so-called Wi-Fi 6E.
Furthermore, operators winning within the 3.5 GHz range—dubbed the golden range of 5G—will also be responsible for the migration of satellite (parabolic) broadcast TV, which currently occupies the same frequency. Under the tender offer, families that make up the federal government’s Unified Registration (CadÚnico) will have the right, free of charge, to change their parabolic TV set for another, not affected by signal interference.
The tender offer also includes resources for the implementation of networks for transport in optical fiber in the North (the Integrated and Sustainable Amazon Program, or PAIS). A total of 13 thousand kilometers of optical fiber cabling is expected to be installed in stream beds in the North.
Another established item is the construction of a private 5G network for the federal administration, which should enable the safe traffic of information. Under the proposal, the network is to be comprised of two fronts: a fixed optical fiber network linking all federal bodies and a mobile network in the Federal District only, for activities in public security, defense, emergency services, and disaster response.