Anatel releases the start of 5G networks in the city of São Paulo

Operators will start activating 5G networks in the city of São Paulo this Thursday (4). The decision was handed down this Tuesday (2) after a meeting of Anatel (National Telecommunications Agency), in which technical aspects for the release of the technology are discussed.

São Paulo is the fifth Brazilian city to have a fifth-generation mobile connection. Before, operators released 5G in Brasília (DF), Belo Horizonte (MG), João Pessoa (PB) and Porto Alegre (RS). By the end of September, all capitals must have 5G networks enabled, according to Anatel’s schedule.

The signal must be made available, at first, in some neighborhoods and, over time, expand to all parts of the cities.

According to the newspaper “O Estado de S. Paulo”, coverage in the city of São Paulo should be concentrated in the expanded center, between the Tietê and Pinheiros marginals, covering regions of the west zone and part of the south zone — basically, the areas with the main business buildings. In the east, north and extreme south zones, coverage should have more spread out antennas.

5G promises speed 20 times faster than 4G — it is in the range of gigabits per second (capable of downloading movies in minutes). Another advantage is the low response time between a given command and its execution (the so-called latency), which can be especially useful for online gaming or critical activities, such as remote medical operations.

What was Anatel’s decision

To release the 5G connection in a city, Anatel has a working group that analyzes whether the 3.5 GHz frequency band (the “avenue” in the sky where the information passes, which was acquired by the operators) is free for the operation of the technology.

Originally, this “avenue” was intended for satellite TV. Then the agency checks to see if filters have been installed that ensure the frequency range is “clean”. For those who have satellite TV, the government has distributed free kits that transmit TV signals on another frequency.

5G has arrived. And now?

At first, most operators should not charge for the use of the new technology, which promises high download speeds.

Second tilt found, the idea is to understand the consumption level of customers to, in a second moment, offer plans that make more sense – think that with faster speeds, it is possible that there are plan options with greater data allowance.

Anyone who wants to use 5G must have a compatible phone and be in a coverage area. According to Anatel, there are more than 70 devices in Brazil already enabled.

Uh, how did you release 5G if my cell phone already appears 5G?

There is the possibility of confusion for consumers. Since 2020, major carriers have started releasing 5G DSS, a transition technology that uses 4G frequencies to provide superior speed.

When connecting to these networks, cell phones show that they are on a 5G network, but most of the time it will not be possible to differentiate this “5G transition” with the “current 5G”, recently released by Anatel. There is also the case of phones that use a 4G band (2.3 GHz) to provide 5G connections.

Some operators, such as Claro, say they will call 5G connected to the 3.5 GHz frequency 5G+. Over time, as has been the case in the US, telecoms should include different items to differentiate the connections they offer.

One possible form of differentiation is speed. While 5G DSS can reach 100 Mb/s, 5G at 3.5 GHz can reach gigabits per second — in Brasília, TIM says it averaged 400 Mb/s.

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