Brazilian Communications Minister Fabio Faria announced that the 5G auction would be held in October with all major 5G technology developers invited, waving aside US concerns about the use of Chinese 5G technologies for commercial purposes in the Latin American nation.
“[We will] schedule the 5G tender for the first half of October or at the latest for the second half… We have not vetoed any company on the list [of potential suppliers]. We have just included some requirements, similar to those of other countries,” Faria stated at a press conference on Thursday.
Brazil is planning to benchmark Australia and the United States, who have introduced two separate 5G networks: a public one for general and commercial use and a private one for the exclusive use by the government and strategic businesses such as state-run Petrobras oil company.
“Many states such as the United States, Australia, Finland and Japan have decided to require a parallel private [5G] network,” Faria added.
The minister named Ericsson and Nokia as most reliable suppliers, specialized in private networks, while Chinese Huawei technologies were labelled as “having backdoors.” Despite restricted access of Chinese 5G suppliers to the government network, they are still allowed to provide equipment for commercial 5G networks.
On 11 August, the minister stated that all 27 capital cities of Brazil will be equipped with 5G technologies by July 2022, with all towns having a population over 600 people set to receive at least 4G technologies.
The announcement comes after the issue was raised by US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan during his visit to Brazil early in August. Sullivan and Faria discussed building 5G networks in Brazil, based on American Open RAN technology in the wake of US attacks on Chinese telecom giant Huawei.
Sullivan also reiterated US support for Brazil becoming a NATO global partner. On August 9, the White House denied offering NATO global partner status to Brazil in exchange for it banning Huawei. The Latin American country said it had made no commitments regarding abandoning Chinese suppliers for providing 5G.