O pure 5G is about to reach all Brazilian capitals, but it is still far from being ubiquitous like 4G. According to Anatel, only 5.6% of base stations are compatible with the new technology, but the number is expected to increase over the years.
The information was provided by Vinicius Caram, superintendent of grants and resources for Anatel’s provision. There are 5,275 active base stations with 5G Standalone, from total of 93.1 thousand cell phone antennas.
The percentage of antennas with pure 5G seems low, but comprises twice the number required by Anatel for the first year of operation. According to the auction notice, operators are required to maintain at least one base station for every 100,000 inhabitants.
Anatel authorized the activation of pure 5G on the 3.5 GHz frequency in Belém (PA), Manaus (AM), Macapá (AP), Porto Velho (RO) and Rio Branco (AC) as of Thursday (6 ). After delays, the municipalities finally complete the list of capitals with a sign of the fifth generation — the initial schedule determined a maximum deadline until July 2022.
5G coverage should improve over the years
O Anatel’s schedule for pure 5G includes progressive obligations to expand coverage. By July 2024, the density of antennas in capitals will increase to one station per 100,000 inhabitants, and by 2025 it will be necessary to have one antenna for every 15,000 inhabitants both in capitals and in municipalities with more than 500,000 inhabitants.
For the time being, operators can only activate the 3.5 GHz frequency in municipalities with authorization from Anatel, since the band is currently occupied by open satellite TV (TVRO).
The agency works to anticipate the release of 3.5 GHz spectrum in medium-sized cities. The calendar predicts that pure 5G frequency will be available in these municipalities until January 1, 2023.
However, 5G coverage is still scarce even in capital cities whose spectrum has been released. The amount of antennas is not enough to take the fifth generation signal to all neighborhoods, which continue to depend exclusively on 4G, 3G or 2G.
For now, the operator that usually covers the largest number of neighborhoods is TIM. In most capitals, Claro and Vivo chose to install 5G antennas in the noblest areas or with the highest traffic of people.
With information: telesynthesis