Anatel president says isolation increased broadband use and admits delay in 5G network auction
- May 23, 2020
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Broadband traffic in Brazil grew between 40% and 50% amid the coronavirus pandemic, said Leonardo Euler de Morais, president of the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) this Friday (22).
Morais also admitted, for the first time, that social distancing measures to contain the pandemic could delay the schedule for the auction of 5G frequencies.
Even before Covid-19, the long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum had been postponed from the initially scheduled date of March 2020, given the need to better investigate possible interference with other signals.
At the end of March, Anatel suspended indefinitely the field tests for the 3.5 GHz frequency, although other technical simulations with computers are still in progress.
“The pandemic certainly has some impact on the 5G timeline and supply chain itself in the short term. This is inexorable,” Morais said in an online conference.
“In the long term, however, it encourages 5G, fiber expansion and telecom infrastructure as it tests the importance of digital solutions for addressing the crisis,” he added.
Morais’ comments signal a slight change in Anatel’s discourse since the beginning of April, when the agency insisted on the possibility of holding the 5G auction at the end of 2020, classifying discussions about a new postponement as “premature”.
He also praised telephone operators for maintaining the quality of service provided even with the increase in data traffic during the pandemic, as well as efforts to expand the FTTH (fiber-to-the-home) fiber optic network, which Morais sees it as a crucial step before the arrival of 5G technology.