In an extra edition of the Federal Official Gazette, the Ministry of Communications announced on Friday (29) the guidelines for the frequency auction for 5G. The text points out that Brazil will have a 4G network in Brasilia exclusively for the government and its own fiber backbone, in addition to establishing coverage targets for mobile telephony.
The draft public notice for the 5G auction is yet to be submitted by Anatel next week, but the document directs the agency to obligations that must be met by operators that auction frequencies. As previously mentioned, there will be no ban for Huawei or other Chinese suppliers.
Brazil will have private networks for public power with fiber and 4G
One of the highlights of the ordinance is the creation of a private network for communication between public agencies. The text establishes that Rede Segura will have high security and encryption, and the devices will have minimum requirements that “will obey specific regulations” and that “observe corporate governance standards compatible with those required in the Brazilian stock market”.
The document says that the private mobile network will be responsible for “attending to public security activities, defense, relief and emergency services, disaster response and other critical tasks of the State”
The Safe Network will have two models:
- a mobile network with 4G technology or higher will work in the Federal District. For this, the frequency of 700 MHz with 5 MHz + 5 MHz of spectrum will be available;
- the rest of the Brazilian states will be connected by optical fiber complementary to the existing government infrastructure.
Operators will have to cover roads and small towns with 4G
Operators that bid for 5G frequencies at the auction will have to comply with coverage obligations.
The text determines that cities, towns, isolated urban areas and rural settlements that have a population of more than 600 inhabitants are served with 4G technology or higher. In the government accounts, the measure should benefit 18 thousand localities and 8.8 million Brazilians currently disconnected.
In addition, all federal highways must receive a 4G signal or higher on a mandatory basis, prioritizing unassisted sections of BR-163, BR-364, BR-242, BR-135, BR-101 and BR-116. The ministry estimates that more than 48,000 kilometers of roads have no mobile coverage.
Finally, the access network (backhaul) of optical fiber must reach municipalities in the North, Northeast and other places that are part of the national integration routes of the Ministry of Regional Development and do not have this type of infrastructure. The complete list of these locations is available at Official Diary of the Union.
Roaming will be mandatory in municipalities without operator coverage
The ordinance also determines “the attendance of visiting subscribers between the networks of the different operators in up to five years”.
In practice, this means that national roaming becomes mandatory for companies that participate in the auction, and will allow customers of a specific telephone to have connection in places where there is only coverage from competing operators.
Auction money will be allocated to fiber optics in the North
According to the Ministry of Communications, the proceeds from the 5G auction will pay for the implementation of 12,000 kilometers of subfluvial fiber optic cables under the Norte Conectado program. The estimate is that the investment will reach R $ 1.2 billion, and the cables will be launched in the beds of the Amazon, Negro and Solimões rivers.
The infrastructure is expected to serve 2,200 public urban schools, 9,400 hospitals and health posts, 162 public security institutions and 18 federal science and technology institutes.
Open satellite TV may change in frequency
The frequency of 3.5 GHz (Band C) will be auctioned for use with 5G, but this same spectrum is currently used by open satellite TV (TVRO).
The guideline establishes that Anatel should establish measures of better technical and economic efficiency to solve harmful interference on satellite TV in Band C, and authorizes the migration of signals to other radio frequency bands.
If the frequency change really happens, people who are members of CadÚnico and who meet the criteria of low-income families will be provided with equipment compatible with the new technology.
The ministry also demands that Anatel carry out studies for the partial or total availability of Band C for mobile broadband (5G), considering that the frequency may be released in the future.