5G goes live in Brazil

Brasília is the first city to get the fifth-generation mobile technology; other capitals are expected to go live in August.
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer
Marko Aliaksandr -- Shutterstock

Access to fifth-generation mobile networks became available for the first time in Brazil yesterday (6). The first city to get 5G coverage was Brazil's capital Brasília. The city will serve as a pilot for the release processes for other capitals as it already has the necessary operating conditions, according to telecommunications agency Anatel.

Anatel's Monitoring Group supervises the implementation of 5G in Brazil for implementing Solutions for Interference Problems (Gaispi). The team encompasses representatives from Anatel, the Ministry of Communications, the operators that have won the bids for the 3.5 GHz band lots, as well as broadcasters and satellite operators.

After tests were carried out over the weekend, a war room led by the Gaispi team was created on Monday (4) to address potential interference caused by implementing the new technology. The 5G signal was not available in the entire city as some areas of Brasilia fell outside the areas covered by the antennas activated at the time.

The implementation across other Brazilian capitals was expected to take place on July 31 but ended up being delayed by 60 days., meaning 5G should be available in these other locations on September 29. Cities that are not state capitals will see a gradual implementation until 2029.

The postponement was decided at an Anatel board meeting after technicians argued the extra time was needed due to delays in the delivery of equipment by the industry. According to the agency, factors such as a new coronavirus outbreak in China and air transport limitations were cited as impediments to meeting the initial target.

Anatel plans to release the use of the 3.5 GHz band in Belo Horizonte, São Paulo and Porto Alegre, but there is still no set a date for the activation of 5G in these capitals. According to the telecoms agency, the deadline for the capitals to be connected to the 3.5 GHz band is the end of August. 

Demand for solutions based on 5G could potentially provide a $117 billion boost to the Brazilian economy, according to a study by consulting firm Deloitte, presented by the country's Ministry of Economy in May.

In addition, the implementation of 5G could generate $20 billion in business for companies and startups based in Brazil over the next decade. This includes the productivity increases and cost reductions stemming from the Industry 4.0 approach.

According to a separate survey published by analyst group IDC, Brazil is ahead of other Latin American countries in terms of consumer knowledge about 5G.

The LATAM Consumer Future of Connectedness Survey polled 3,000 consumers across the region between April and May and found that 95% of Brazilians have some type of knowledge about the fifth-generation technology, compared to the average of 75% across other Latin markets. Only 36% of Brazilians say they know 5G well, but 84% believe it will completely transform data consumption.

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