700MHz auction delayed until January 2014

by Andrew Roach on June 5, 2013

Over the past few months, there has been a lot of talk about which networks are going to bid in the new 700MHz spectrum auction when it occurs.

However, the government has announced that the auction has been held back until January 14, 2014 rather than being held in November of this year.

The delay is designed to encourage more independent bidders to participate in the auction in an attempt to stop the big three from dominating the telecom industry.

It comes at a time where the government are looking at ways to maximise the possibilities of establishing a fourth major telecom provider in every province.

With several major independent providers such as Wind Mobile and Mobilicty struggling to breakthrough, the government will be hoping that the two month extension to applications will give other regional companies the chance to get involved in acquiring new spectrum.

With the big three providers acquiring current spare spectrum and struggling firms, the government feel that the extension will help them use further tactics to boost the competition levels in Canada.

When speaking about the decision, Industry Minister Christian Paradis believed that the move was in the best interests of all involved in the industry. In a statement, he said that “our government is clearly committed to encouraging competition in the wireless market so that Canadian families will benefit from cutting-edge technologies and services at affordable prices.”

The auction delay wasn’t the only trick up Paradis’ sleeve though as he also announced a change to the procedure involving how spectrum can be transferred from one licence holder to another.

The changes will now mean that if a provider’s claim to unused transfer may harm competition in a particular area, the regulatory body will not approve that deal. In addition, the transfer will be approved on each individual basis with the final result being made public by the board.

The announcement followed up on Paradis’ comments on Monday that he planned to do whatever was needed to ensure that 4 providers should be able to compete fairly in their local region.

By moving the date back, Paradis may have given the industry enough time to try and give newcomers enough time to prepare for the auction and have a shot at being competitive on the new frequencies are available in January next year.

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Written by: Andrew Roach www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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