Anatel: 100% Mobile Coverage by End-2009

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Brazil's mobile operators are likely to achieve 100% coverage of the country by the end of 2009 local press reported citing information from telecoms regulator Anatel.

Today, mobile coverage is limited to cities with more than 30,000 inhabitants, according to the report.

Anatel expects coverage of neglected areas to get a boost this year as a result of upcoming auctions for mobile licenses dedicated to small towns and municipalities. The idea is to start bidding at minimum prices that are much lower than sought on previous occasions.

Mobile operators are not obliged by local regulations to contribute to universal access, and prefer to provide services in densely populated areas, whereas the concession contracts of fixed line operators include obligations to provide coverage in neglected areas.

According to Anatel, the mobile penetration rate in the country was 60.4% at end-October, compared to 59.5% at end-September.

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