Vivo and TIM put the ERBs purchased from Oi for sale

To fulfill yet another stage of the Agreement on Control of Concentrations (ACC) of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (Cade), TIM and Vivo launched the public offer for the sale of Radio Base Stations (ERBs) of Oi, which was placed as condition in the authorization of the sale of Oi’s Mobile unit.

In this case, Claro was not part of the agreement, as it did not buy spectrum from the former operator, it only acquired the customer base.

The two operators informed the antitrust agency about the public offering, contracts and prices of each website for sale that are available on each one’s portals. This operation that TIM and Vivo are carrying out is one of the conditions established by Cade for the approval of the sale of Oi’s assets, with the two operators having to sell 50% of Oi’s ERBs.

However, some market analysts believe that such an obligation will not stimulate competition in the segment, and may be innocuous, due to the lack of interested parties in acquiring these assets, since the obligation is only to sell the ERBs, which the two operators did. The offers to the ERBs market are directed to the frequencies of 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz. That is, they are still from the first mobile generations, 2G and 3G.

In the contracts, TIM and Vivo inform that the public offer is exclusively for the sale of ERB and not the “license to use radiofrequency”. It turns out that no MVNO operator, except Algar Telecom, has a license to occupy these older frequencies, thus reducing the number of potential buyers.

The operators still establish that the sale is not part of the contracts “infrastructure elements that may be present on the same site, such as towers, buildings, passive infrastructure, backhaul and radio frequency usage rights”, restricting the public offering to

“antennas and other radiocommunication equipment related to the provision of Personal Mobile Service (SMP) installed on a given site, including supports, radiofrequency cables, power cables, mats, cabinets, batteries, radiofrequency electronics and containers directly related to said equipment”.

In addition, buyers will still have to negotiate with the owners of the towers – the Network operators – the ownership of the ERBs, where TIM requires prior authorization from the “torreiro”, before completing the sale, while Vivo, although citing the prior consent of the owner of the tower, it does not need to be in advance, and it even admits that a company that does not have a telecommunications license buy these assets, provided that it bears the costs of their removal.

Another point of both offers is that the backhaul to reach the sites will not be provided nor is it part of the sale. TIM even mentions that this will be up to Oi to supply, while Vivo makes no reference to the matter.

Prices of ERBs

TIM set prices in a range between R$26,187 thousand to R$322,293 thousand, depending on the capacity of ERB’s electronics to evolve to the new generations of mobile telephony. Vivo’s prices range from R$3,893 thousand to R$83,772 thousand per site.

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