THE Anatel finally approved the edict for the 5G auction. After a meeting of the board of directors on Thursday (25), the agency decided to mandatory the most updated version of the fifth generation (Release 16) and determined which capitals should be served with 5G by July 2022.
Most of the items in the original proposal were maintained, including the construction of the private network for government use. Operators that bid for capacity in the 3.5 GHz band will also be responsible for the migration of open TV via satellite, which currently occupies the same frequency.
Capitals expected to have 5G by July 2022
The approved notice has coverage obligations for operators that conclude the national blocks of the frequency of 3.5 GHz with a continuous spectrum greater than 50 MHz.
If frequency vacations occur within the scheduled schedule, Anatel will require 5G coverage in all capital cities and the Federal District by July 2022. What changes over the years is the density of the antennas, and cities that are not capital cities will have obligations only in 2025.
Anatel’s long-term goal is for operators to have a base station for every 15,000 inhabitants. By July 2029, all municipalities with more than 30,000 residents are expected to have 5G coverage.
|Date||Type of municipality||Antenna density|
|July 31, 2022||Capitals and Federal District||One base station for every 100 thousand inhabitants|
|July 31, 2023||Capitals and Federal District||One base station for every 50 thousand inhabitants|
|July 31, 2024||Capitals and Federal District||One base station for every 30,000 inhabitants|
|July 31, 2025||Capitals, Federal District and municipalities with population over 500 thousand inhabitants||One base station for every 15,000 inhabitants|
|July 31, 2026||Municipalities with population over 200 thousand inhabitants||One base station for every 15,000 inhabitants|
|July 31, 2027||Municipalities with population over 100 thousand inhabitants||One base station for every 15,000 inhabitants|
|July 31, 2028||At least 50% of the municipalities with a population over 30 thousand inhabitants||One base station for every 15,000 inhabitants|
|July 31, 2029||All municipalities with a population greater than 30 thousand inhabitants||One base station for every 15,000 inhabitants|
Anatel maintains requirement for 5G standalone
One of the most controversial points of the proposed notice is the mandatory immediate adoption of 5G in a format standalone, which has a network independent from the current 4G. This requirement was maintained, and operators are expected to build the network at Release 16 or higher of 3GPP standards.
In a vote that lasted more than three hours, the president of Anatel, Leonardo de Morais, tried to prevent the requirement of 5G standalone with the argument that the format could make building networks more expensive and that the standard is still incompatible with several smartphones on the market. He proposed the obligation for Release 16 only in 2025, but only one advisor supported the measure.
The rapporteur for the announcement, Carlos Baigorri, defends the standalone standard as it is the most current version of 5G. He fears that, if the tax does not exist, capitals such as Macapá, Teresina and João Pessoa will be out of alignment in comparison with São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília.
Another proposal by Morais rejected by the board of directors was the reorganization of the 3.5 GHz licenses. In the original proposal there would be five national blocks with 80 MHz of spectrum each, and the agency’s president proposed four national blocks with 100 MHz of capacity.
5G mmWave can be used by internet providers
Another change that should please regional providers is that the 26 GHz band (mmWave) can be used by the modality Multimedia Communication Service (SCM), which comprises the fixed broadband market.
Previously, Baigorri’s proposal emphasized that the spectrum could only be occupied in the category of mobile telephony. The requirement for a new type of licensing would increase costs for small providers and inhibit participation in the auction.