Brisanet buys 5G licenses to operate in the Northeast and Midwest – Telecommunications – Tecnoblog

A Anatel holds today (4) the auction of 5G, and the event has the participation of several smaller operators. THE Brisanet, which operates with fiber optic broadband service in the Northeast region, guaranteed frequencies to operate with the fifth generation. The surprise is that we didn’t know the tele’s disposition: it won a grant for more than R$1 billion and will also operate in the Midwest region.


Brisanet operates with fiber optic services in Northeastern states (Image: Reproduction)

Unlike Claro, TIM and Vivo, Brisanet did not bid on national frequency blocks, but acquired licenses in two regions. See prices and premium:

Block bid amount Agio
C04 3.5 GHz, with 80 MHz spectrum Northeast Region BRL 1.25 billion 13.741,71%
C05 3.5 GHz, with 80 MHz of spectrum in the Midwest Region (except in areas served by Algar) BRL 105 million 4.054,27%
E04 2.3 GHz, with 50 MHz spectrum Northeast Region BRL 111.38 million 0%

The event had other operators interested in the 3.5 GHz blocks in the Northeast, but the premium offered by Brisanet was much higher and there was no counter-proposal. It is noteworthy that the operator also purchased the capacity to operate at 2.3 GHz in the region, which allows the use with 4G technology.

In addition to paying for the frequency, Brisanet will have to fulfill some commitments. The purchase of 3.5 GHz requires the operator to bring 5G coverage to municipalities with less than 30,000 inhabitants in the region, in addition to expanding the transport network (backhaul) with optical fiber to these locations.

On the other hand, the 2.3 GHz frequency carries the obligation to take 4G signal to all municipalities and locations that do not yet have the technology. These commitments must be fulfilled only in the Northeast region, since Brisanet did not purchase the fourth generation spectrum for the Midwest region.

Wasn’t it worth buying a national license?

I got a big scare when Brisanet made an initial bid of R$ 1.25 billion on the 3.5 GHz frequency. It was a very strong message to the market that the tele wants to go head first with 5G.

At the same time, Claro, TIM and Vivo acquired national licenses with the same amount of spectrum for less than half the price. Therefore, it is common to ask: wasn’t it better to have bought a national license?

And the answer is: not. This is an auction without a collection bias, that is, the licenses were priced at a low value and carried with them a series of commitments:

  • the regional lot purchased by Brisanet includes commitments in the amount of R$93.7 million;
  • a national lot will require investments of R$ 3.7 billion to meet the requirements.

As Brisanet does not seem to have the intention of operating throughout Brazil (at least for the time being), it would not make sense to buy the national license lot even with the lower value.

But who is Brisanet?

Brisanet is one of the biggest phenomena when it comes to fiber optic broadband. Its operations are concentrated in the Northeast region, and it is a giant there: there are more than 850,000 fixed internet customers, which places it above large operators when compared to the regional market.

Currently, Brisanet sells its services in six states: Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Sergipe e alagoas. However, the company describes its mission as “bringing quality internet to all citizens of the Northeast region, including those who live far from large urban centers”.

In addition to fixed broadband, Brisanet also sells pay TV via IPTV, fixed VoIP telephony and… mobile telephony. Well, thanks to a partnership with Vivo, the fiber optic giant is already operating in the mobile segment with its own virtual operator. Who knows what will happen from now on…

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