5G regulation and law in Brazil

Information current as of 16 December 2019

What is the state of 5G deployment in Brazil?

5G is not available in Brazil and, to date, there is no expected roll out timetable. There are some specific barriers to 5G roll out in Brazil. 

A recent conflict between members of the national telecom regulator, Anatel, has resulted in a further postponement of 5G deployment. Proposals from a member to introduce a new auction model that would allow small operators to participate in the launching of 5G services have proved controversial. Some believe that this approach may be too risky and Anatel requested more time to review the proposals. 

The other barrier is an interference of frequencies between the 5G and the satellite communications of public television services. Anatel is currently in discussions with large telecom operators about the technical steps that can be taken to ensure that public television services do not suffer interference due to the deployment of 5G. 

In addition, there is ongoing political discussion about whether equipment from Huawei should be used. The Brazilian government announced that they do not have intentions to restrict the presence of the Chinese company in the 5G deployment. 

Which telecoms and communications players are launching 5G services?

As of yet it is not known which players will launch 5G services in Brazil. There are currently 4 large national telecom operators. As mentioned above, Anatel is currently considering proposals that would allow smaller operators to participate in the launching of 5G services.

Are there any public tenders for spectrum licences?

At present, there are no public tenders for spectrum licences in Brazil. 

Has there been any comment on when there might be?

Anatel has recently delayed invitations to bid until the second half of 2020, after which there will be a public consultation followed by the auction of the 2.3 GHz and 3.5 GHz bands.

Other bands such as 26 GHz and 700 MHz, which support ultra-reliable and low latency communications suitable for industrial use, will also be added to the same auction.

What has the government said regarding spectrum licences for commercial use?

The government has not yet made announcements about spectrum licences for commercial use.

Are the rules for 5G already drafted, and if so, what do they say?

The rules for 5G have not yet been drafted.

What are or would be the rules for granting competitors access to the new 5G networks, once they are deployed?

There are currently no rules published.

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Ted Rhodes
Partner
Rio de Janeiro