Canadian Government to Auction Unallocated AWS-3 and 700 MHz Spectrum in August

by Istvan Fekete on May 4, 2015

In case wireless carrier couldn’t grab enough wireless licences during the two auctions held this year, the federal government has a pleasant surprise for them: It is preparing a third wireless auction for this year. The licences will be available in August, the government announced on Friday, May 1.

Industry Minister James Moore said the upcoming wireless auction will feature unallocated spectrum licences from the recent 700 MHz and AWS-3 auction, which makes the third auction in a year. The spectrum is a vital public resource if new wireless companies are to compete and provide choice to Canadians, and the government sees this auction as the best way to foster competition.

“Spectrum is an essential public resource, and it is our job as a government to ensure it is allocated in such a way that encourages robust competition and choice in our wireless market. This auction, like all of our previous auctions, is designed with the interests of Canadian consumers first. We look forward to seeing consumers benefit,” said James Moore, Minister of Industry.

Theoretically, when the auctions end, everything will be set for the Canadian wireless landscape to become competitive: Less than a year ago, about 90% of the spectrum was held by the incumbent players, but thanks to the recent AWS-3 auction and the ongoing 2500 MHz auction, there will be a shift in power: Incumbents will control only 75% of the available spectrum, and the remaining 25% will be owned by new entrants.

On top of that comes the third spectrum auction: The government is proposing to divide the northern licences into smaller areas, and remove set-aside provisions from existing AWS-3 licences.

Industry Canada is proposing that the auction of residual licences in the 700 MHz and the AWS-3 bands take place on August 25, 2015.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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