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Last Trade - 14/04/21

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Brazil regulator approves 5G spectrum auction rules, no Huawei ban

Fri 26th February, 2021 12:46am
BRASILIA, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Brazil's telecoms regulator
Anatel approved rules on Thursday for a spectrum auction for 5G
networks this year without any curbs on China's Huawei
Technologies Co  HWT.UL  as an equipment supplier.
    Right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro last year
criticized the Chinese company and was under pressure from the
former Trump administration to ban Huawei from the country's
fifth-generation technology market on security concerns.
    Brazil's telecom companies insisted on a free market,
complaining that excluding Huawei would cost billions of dollars
to replace the equipment of the Chinese company that supplies
50% of the current 3G and 4G networks.
    Rules for the auction expected in June, however, have costly
conditions such as requiring telecom companies to migrate by
next year to more advanced technology with stand-alone networks
not based on their current technology.
    They will also have to cover the vast northern Amazon region
with broadband connectivity, largely using optic fiber cables
laid in rivers, and build a separate secure network for the
federal government.
    Industry representatives said Huawei, the world's biggest
telecoms equipment maker, could not be excluded from Brazil's 5G
market because, besides the cost, it would set the country back
three to four years in technology.
    Two of Brazil's main telecom companies, Telefonica Brasil SA
 VIVT4.SA  and Claro, owned by Mexico's America Movil  AMXL.MX ,
are pressing for a 5-year transition to the more advanced
stand-alone networks.
    "The stand-alone condition requires changing the core of
today's networks and will set us back years," said Vivien
Suruagy, head of Feninfra, a lobby representing 137,000
companies that build and maintain telecommunications networks.
    The rules must be approved by Brazil's Federal Audit Court,
the TCU, where the telecoms hope the government's onerous
conditions can be changed, Suruagy said.

 (Reporting by Anthony Boadle and Lisandra Paraguassu; Editing
by Richard Chang)
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