Brazil approves 4G spectrum auction

Brazilian national telecoms regulator Anatel has approved a proposal to auction off spectrum in the 700MHz band.

The proposal is set to be discussed in a hearing beginning on May 2 2014 for a 30-day period.

The spectrum is occupied by analogue broadcast TV and the auction would free it up for 4G mobile services. The auction is scheduled for August this year.

Operators in Brazil are finding it difficult to sustain profitability due to heavy investments in the roll-out of 4G coverage in time for football’s FIFA World Cup in the country in June this year.

However, Anatel has reported that services using the 700MHz spectrum will not be ready in time for the tournament. The latest wireless technology operates on this frequency and is used widely in the United States and Europe. Instead, tourists can buy local 4G chips that will work on Brazil's 2.5GHz network.

In January this year, the Brazilian government announced that it was considering allowing local telecoms operators to pay off regulatory fines through investment.