Brazil’s government wants to get foreign companies to bid in the next wireless 4G auction in an effort to increase competition, Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo Silva said.
The auction of 700 MHz spectrum is scheduled for August and the government expects it will generate between $3.15 billion and $3.6 billion, Silva said.
The minister said he planned to travel to the United States, Europe and possibly Asia in June to drum up interest in the auction on the part of international telecom companies.
Bidders will not be required to offer 4G service in less profitable rural areas in this round, creating more interest among foreign telecom firms, Silva said.
The government wants to increase competition to improve service and bring down prices, the communications minister said.
Brazilian wireless providers are in the process of rolling out 2.5 GHz 4G service, with the 12 cities hosting World Cup matches in June and July receiving the faster connections first.
Coverage, under the terms of the 2012 auction, will be expanded over the next two years, with all cities having more than 100,000 residents getting the faster service by the end of 2016.
Large telecom companies Vivo, the Brazilian subsidiary of Spain’s Telefonica; Tim, the wireless unit of Telecom Italia; Claro, a unit of Mexico’s America Movil; Oi SA, a Portugal Telecom subsidiary; and Nextel dominated the bidding two years ago.
Companies bidding in August will have to make an additional payment to compensate television broadcasters, who currently use the 700 MHz spectrum.