Stephen Eisenhammer, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The bidding season is open for companies looking to invest in the development of 4G technology in Brazil, with the government having set the auction date for June. Companies wanting to get a slice of Brazil’s technological expansion will have to pay R$1.5 billion for a national license alongside the promise of building thousands of antennas up and down the country, each costing R$400,000.
The 4G is a super-fast mobile internet connection that is on average twelve-times faster than its technological predecessor, 3G – the system currently used by most smart phones.
However, some companies have shown concern over the plans. The Chinese telecommunication infrastructure giant, Huawei, has criticized the separate bid for 4G technology, arguing instead that any investment should be spread between 3G and 4G.
The disagreement centers on the fact that a huge amount of infrastructure development is still required to establish 3G across Brazil. Recent data compiled by the consultancy firm Teleco, showed that the technology is only present in just over half (51.8 percent) of municipalities country-wide.
Another worry is the lack of competition that came out of the 3G bidding round in 2007, with the data showing that in 1,973 (or 35 percent) of municipalities only one operator was present. In fact only 203 of Brazil’s 5,564 municipalities all four operators (TIM, Vivo, Claro and Oi).
Read more (in Portuguese).
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