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Posted on June 12, 2012
Brazil’s top four mobile-phone carriers won a combined 2.6 billion reais ($1.3 billion) in a government auction for wireless airwaves in Brazil, gaining assets to offer faster Internet speeds to consumers.
The auction includes airwaves in the 2.5-gigahertz frequency range, and the winners of the spectrum will have to construct fourth-generation networks in host cities of soccer’s Confederations Cup by April 2013, according to phone regulator Anatel. More cities must be ready by the end of the next year to prepare for World Cup games. Anatel announced the auction results in a briefing to reporters in Brasilia today.
With the airwaves, the winning companies can add services such as high-definition video to lure customers. Brazil already has 253 million mobile-phone subscriptions, more than its population, forcing carriers to move beyond voice service to expand revenue.
Telefonica Brasil SA, a unit of Madrid-based Telefonica SA (TEF), was the biggest spender in the auction, bidding 1.05 billion reais, a 67 percent premium to the minimum price, for 20 megahertz of national spectrum. America Movil (AMXL), based in Mexico City, pledged 844.5 million reais for a similar block of spectrum.
Tim Participacoes SA (TIMP3), a unit of Milan-based Telecom Italia SpA (TIT), will pay 340 million reais for a 10-megahertz block of national spectrum. Rio de Janeiro-based Oi SA (OIBR4) will pay 330.9 million reais for a similar block.
All four carriers assumed obligations for increasing coverage in rural areas as part of their 4G airwave acquisitions.
The government had forecast 3.85 billion reais in proceeds from the auction, which continued today with smaller lots of airwaves for regional coverage.
To contact the reporters on this story: Carla Simoes in Brasilia Newsroom at firstname.lastname@example.org; Crayton Harrison in Mexico City at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org