Telecommunications - Brazil

George Soros acquires pay-TV provider, eyes 4G auction, report says

George Soros acquires pay-TV provider, eyes 4G auction, report says

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Hungarian billionaire George Soros has bought Sao Paulo-based pay-TV operator Sunrise Telecomunicações, which he may use as a platform to potentially participate in Brazil''s 4G spectrum auctions slated for June 12, Brazilian newspaper Folha de S Paulo reported.

The acquisition will require approval from telecoms regulator Anatel.

Though Sunrise did not confirm to the news to Folha, the newspaper said communications minister Paulo Bernardo has confirmed Sunrise''s interest in participating in the auction.

Sunrise currently offers pay-TV using MMDS microwave technology in the 2.5 GHz band, which will also be used for offering 4G mobile broadband services.

MMDS operators have until June 5 to inform the authorities if they plan to sell off their unused spectrum in 2.5 GHz.

Sunrise is interested in acquiring additional spectrum that would allow it to offer only mobile broadband, and not voice.

The company entered the Brazilian market in 2000 and is present in 12 municipalities of São Paulo.

The auction for 4G LTE services also includes spectrum in the 450 MHz band and is expected to generate US$2bn for the Brazilian government.