Tech

New setback to Brazil’s 5G timetable

Accounts court holds up auction over doubts around plans for Amazon and standalone government network – but Brazil may have a solution to avoid alienating Chinese partners

5g Communications Minister Fábio Faria (left) and President Jair Bolsonaro
Communications Minister Fábio Faria (left) and President Jair Bolsonaro announcing a 5G-related project in May 2021. Photo: Marcos Corrêa/PR

Brazil’s government had promised to auction 5G frequencies by the first half of 2021. It would be the crown jewel of the Bolsonaro administration’s privatizations plan … but it never happened. Later the government guaranteed it would happen by late July. Once again, the target was not met. Now, following a deadlock in the Federal Accounts Court, there are doubts about whether the tender will be held in 2021 at all.

Aroldo Cedraz, one of the court’s members, asked for an extra week to analyze the government’s proposal, essentially paralyzing proceedings.

There are two main points of contention around the...

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