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Vivo, Oi, TIM win first 3G licenses

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Brazilian mobile operators Vivo, Oi and TIM picked up on Tuesday three of four 3G licenses available for area 1, news service Ag ncia Estado reported.

Area one covers the states of Rio de Janeiro, Esprito Santo, Bahia and Sergipe.

After negotiations with telecoms watchdog Anatel, Vivo agreed to pay 310mn reais (US$171mn) for the first license, 89.6% over the minimum price; Oi agreed to pay 468mn reais for the second license, 90.6% over the minimum price; and TIM's license will cost the company 528mn reais, 223% over the minimum price.

Anatel president Ronaldo Sardenberg previously said he expects a 700mn-real premium to be paid over the minimum asking price of 2.8bn reais set for the licenses offered.

At the time of publication, the auction continued.

Eight operators - TIM, Vivo, Claro, Oi, Brasil Telecom, CTBC, Telemig Celular and Nextel - presented bids last week.

Each of the country's 11 mobile operating areas will have four licenses, one of 30Mhz and three of 20MHz, in the 1.9-2.1GHz range. Anatel has said it expects to reap at least 2.8bn reais from the auctions.

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