January 14, 2014 11:12am
As you know, today marks the beginning of the 700 MHz wireless spectrum auction. The government’s goal is to bring wireless carriers and Canadians “improved, high-speed wireless services on the latest technologies” by using the spectrum to enhance LTE performance on existing networks and, perhaps, build infrastructure for new ones.
James Moore, Canada’s Industry Minister, says his government has been clear in their mandate to bring “more choice, lower prices and better service in the wireless sector.” As stated before, today marks the start of the auction and “no further information on the auction’s progress will be publicly released until after the auction is over.” Estimations are that the auction could last between several weeks to a couple months, depending on the bidder activity.
In total, there are 10 bidders, which Moore states are a “dynamic mix of Canadian companies.” Bell Mobility, Eastlink Wireless, Feenix Wireless, MTS, Novus Wireless, Rogers, SaskTel, Tbaytel, TELUS and Videotron are deciding our wireless future. But originally, 15 bidders qualified, and recently WIND Mobile, Catalyst Capital, and Birch Hill dropped out, mainly due to lack of available financing.
Moore said in a press release this morning, “The 700 MHz spectrum auction is an important milestone for Canada. Soon, this high-quality spectrum will be accessible to Canadian consumers for use on the latest smartphones and tablets. The rules for this auction were designed to support more choice in our wireless market while putting the interests of consumers first.”
His government has also scheduled the 2500 MHz spectrum auction to begin on April 14th, 2015.