The Brazilian government is keen to attract foreign players into the country via the upcoming auction of 700-MHz spectrum earmarked for 4G services.

A delegation from the Ministry of Communications and telecoms regulator Anatel, headed by comms minister Paulo Bernardo, is visiting London and New York this week to share details of the auction, which is due to take place in August.

The object of the exercise is to showcase the Brazilian telecoms market "in order to attract companies that do not operate in Brazil," the Ministry of Communications said in a statement.

"The Brazilian market has shown significant advances in the broadband segment," the ministry said, noting that in the past four years the number of broadband accesses has grown by more than 1000% to 137.2 million. "And there is a great demand for the technology, which makes the country attractive for business," it said.

As it stands, the 700-MHz spectrum band is being used by analogue TV services.

However, on Tuesday the ministry announced that the analogue switch-off will begin in April 2016 and will run until November 2018, freeing up the 700-MHz band for 4G.

Brazil's capital cities will be the first to have their analogue signals turned off. First though, the country will undertake a pilot project in Rio Verde, in the state of Goiás, on 29 November 2015.

The first city to have its analogue signals fully switched off will be the capital Brasilia in April the following year. São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Goiânia and Rio de Janeiro will follow later in 2016.