By Gabriela Mello
SAO PAULO (Reuters) – The National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) is "closely monitoring" the effects of the coronavirus pandemic to decide whether to postpone the 5G frequency auction, saying it is premature to discuss the matter now. "So far it is still possible to promote the auction until the end of 2020," said Anatel in response to a question from Reuters. The agency said it is monitoring "how the current scenario evolves" to decide whether the auction will be postponed to the first two months of 2021. "Any analysis that indicates the need for a postponement is considered premature at this point," added Anatel.
The day before, the association that brings together the telecommunications companies, SindiTelebrasil, defended the postponement of the 5G auction, considered by the federal government as the largest in the world, in view of the uncertainties and economic paralysis generated by the epidemic in the country. (nL2N2BW03L "As 5G requires investments of billions, these companies need long-term predictability and that is what we do not have at the moment," said Carlos Daltozo, from Eleven Financial Research. He cited, however, that telecommunications is one of the few sectors that have registered growth in demand because of the recommendations of remote work and online teaching as a way to contain the spread of the virus.
The country's four largest telephone operators, Telefônica Brasil, TIM, Claro and Oi had an increase in broadband consumption of between 12% and 49% between March 30 and April 5, according to Anatel.