Sprint, AT&T confirm they are not participating in spectrum auction

by Andrew Roach on September 20, 2013

Having seen Verizon enjoy a very good look at the Canadian telecom industry over the summer, it would have been safe to assume that there would’ve been some foreign bodies keen into entering the market at some stage

But with the American firm deciding against it, it has acted as a catalyst in which other major international carriers have ruled out any moves in the near future ahead of the 700MHz spectrum auction.

Two of America’s biggest mobile networks, Sprint and AT&T, confirmed that they would not be participating in the spectrum bidding process over the next few months.

It had originally been thought that foreign investors were going to enter as backers behind some of the struggling independent carriers like Mobilicity or Public Mobile whose financial woes have questioned their possible entries into the auction.

Although Sprint and AT&T were not considered the most likely networks to enter into Canada, the move will still be a blow to an industry ken on attracting foreign investment to the country.

The dominance of Rogers, Bell and Telus over the years has made it difficult for new national carriers to get a major slice of the market and it had been hoped that a foreign giant might come in to allow for a fourth national network provider to be established.

But this has proven to be more than difficult and it’s this dominance from the Big Three that has put some firms off such as AT&T who earlier this week labelled that idea as impossible.

Not only that, but many more people are shunning the Canadian market and turning their attention to the US market which is considered both more lucrative but also more competitive for new networks to get a say in the industry.

The international shunning of the Canadian market hasn’t derailed telecom networks though in Canada as it’s likely to keep the spectrum bidding prices down in January giving some of the smaller networks one last chance to get a sufficient amount of spectrum for the next few years.

However, if no international firms enter into the next auction, it means that the idea of a fourth national carrier will stay as a dream rather than a reality.

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

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