On Thursday, August 1, Anatel published a modified call to tender for additional segments of the frequency spectrum available to conventional cellular and PCS carriers, which have 60 days to express an interest without firm commitment. If the number of carriers interested exceeds the frequency segments available, they will be auctioned by competitive bidding. Instead of simply extending the existing call for a further period, Anatel has reduced the prices. According to Jarbas Valente, Anatel?s head of private services, the idea is to make use of additional frequencies more attractive while also offering A- and B-band carriers equal terms for acquiring them. B-band carriers were comparatively jeopardized by the previous arrangement.
Jarbas Valente explained that prices have fallen steadily since the first PCS auction, not least because payment terms have been facilitated. Prices have been cut 70% since the first auction in January 2001, he said. Fees can be paid in installments at interest of 1% per annum, with a 10% down-payment on signature of the license contract and a three-year grace period before six installments adjusted for annual inflation measured by FGV?s general price index (IGP-DI). Each spectrum segment is priced on the basis of the bandwidth to be used, the population living in the coverage area, and the remaining time until expiration of the carrier?s original license. The reference prices set by Anatel are as follows: Region 1 – 319,515,000 Brazilian Reals; Region II – 184,918,000 BRL; Region III – 240,098,000 BRL. As Jarbas Valente recalled, only cellular carriers that migrate to PCS will be entitled to use the new frequencies.