Brazil plans new mobile broadband auction

Brazil is set to auction new licenses for mobile data services, even though its long planned 2.5GHz WiMAX spectrum sale is still being held up by regulatory disputes, mainly over whether mobile services should be allowed in the band.

While the government and cellco lobbyists continue to debate that one, delaying the auction further, regulator Anatel hopes to open up new mobile broadband frequencies more quickly in other, less contentious parts of the spectrum, claiming that the current wired and wireless broadband networks in the country cannot keep up with demand.

Brazil is expected to be one of the major markets for WiMAX, especially with some operators considering a plan to leapfrog 3G and go straight to 4G. However, the auction of licenses has been repeatedly delayed and earlier this month Neotec, the organization that represents Brazil’s operators of MMDS services – the multichannel, multipoint offerings already present in 2.5GHz – says lobbying by Ericsson and Qualcomm has stirred up repeated battles between Neotec and Anatel, which are now involving the Brazilian Congress.

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