Brazil's 5G Auction Might Be Postponed to 2021

Business sector receives signs that the event will be postponed to please the US; minister has not confirmed


Telephone operators, foreign equipment suppliers, handset makers, and phone chips are already considering the possibility of the government delaying the 5G auction as a way around the US-China technology war.

The US wants to prevent Chinese companies from operating in the 5G markets of its allies, including Brazil.

People holding their mobile phones walk past a China Telecom 5G sign at a university in Haikou, Hainan province, China October 27, 2019. Picture taken October 27, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer - REUTERS

The government denies the postponement. The executive secretary of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations, and Communications, Julio Semeghini, says the auction should take place at the end of 2020.

Anatel (National Telecommunications Agency) must define the rules of the event at the December 12 meeting. After that, they will be submitted for public consultation.

But companies in the industry say they have received signals from government emissaries that President Jair Bolsonaro will give another year to Americans, now tied to Finnish Nokia, to upgrade their 5G technology and compete with Huawei for the hardware supplies network in Brazil.

In the long run, Brazil would signal cooperation with the US and avoid compromising the best relations achieved by the convergence of ideas between Trump and Bolsonaro.

Huawei devices are the best selling in the world because they are smaller, more powerful, talk to all available technologies, and cost less.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon