Brazil's 5G Auction May Be Delayed due to Spike in Broadband Use, Senior Exec Says

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the auction schedule but fuelled deployment of the technology in the long term by demonstrating the importance of digital solutions, the president of the Brazilian National Telecommunications Authority says

Leonardo Euler de Morais, president of the Brazilian National Telecommunications Authority, participating in a 5G panel at the Cybertech Global 2020 conference in Tel Aviv. Photo: Gilad Kavalerchik

Brazil's fifth-generation mobile network auction is likely to take place later than planned because the use of broadband has significantly increased amid the pandemic, a senior telecom executive said on May 22.   

In an online meeting held by a think tank in Sao Paolo, Leonardo Euler de Morais, president of Brazil's National Telecommunications Authority, said "The pandemic certainly has an impact on the auction schedule and also in the 5G supply chain in the short-term."

"In the long run, however, the pandemic fuels 5G deployment and fiber expansion by testing the importance of digital solutions," he said. In April, the authority stated there was a possibility that the auction would be held in late 2020. 

The senior executive added that the country's telecom companies are moving towards the deployment of 5G via the expansion of fiber-to-the-home infrastructure, namely the use of optical fiber from a central point directly to individual buildings,   

5G is still in its infancy, but its higher bandwidth, lower lag time in communications, and lightning-fast speeds are predicted to eventually redefine the way we live. 

In January, while participating in a panel on 5G at the Cybertech Global conference in Tel Aviv, the senior executive said "In countries like Brazil that are so continental, we will need satellite applications to foster all that the 5G environment can bring to us. In this sense we think a lot about IoT."

"I think 5G will bring a lot of new opportunities," he said, adding that this year Brazil is to hold its biggest spectrum auction ever involving the 3.5 GHz frequency band. "It's going to open the door for 5G."

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