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Brazil: 3G bidding rules probably available this month

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Anatel published proposals for the bidding rules earlier this year and in mid August started studying feedback from sector players. Anatel's private services director Jarbas Valente hinted on September 26 the regulator's licensing team was very close to delivering a draft of the 3G bidding rules to the watchdog board.

Due to board members' schedules there will not be a full meeting until October 9 and the problem is that any board member can ask for a revision of the document, which would take an extra week, according to Sardenberg.

Some operators have said they aim to launch 3G services over existing spectrum and are likely to do so before Anatel auctions the official 3G spectrum, in the 1900MHz and 2100MHz bands.

These operators include Telemig and America Movil unit Claro, which plan to launch the service over the 850MHz spectrum that they already have.

Claro's 850MHz system is ready and just needs to interconnect with other networks, but the firm needs to know 3G operating rules spelled out in the 1900MHz and 2100MHz bidding rules before it can launch, Claro president João Cox was quoted as saying this week. Telemig's 3G network has been ready since August.

In fact, local papers are convinced that Anatel is under pressure from other operators - Vivo, TIM Brasil and Brasil Telecom - to prevent Telemig and Claro from launching 3G.

According to Telemig president Andre Mastrobuono, Anatel has yet to authorize activation of the transmission towers, despite having approved other equipment and operating licenses. Anatel has not given a clear explanation, merely citing "regulatory doubts."

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Tags: tim  america movil  tim brasil  brasil telecom  claro  anatel  850mhz  Brazil