Industry Canada to likely announce results of 700Mhz auction tomorrow

Industry Canada just revealed that they will likely announce the results of the 700Mhz auction tomorrow, February 5th, at 12:30pm ET.

Industry Minister, James Moore, “will make an announcement regarding Canada’s wireless industry,” according to a short release issued late today. He will then take questions from journalists.

The Government launched the 700Mhz auction on January 14th, and said they would announce the provisional licence winners five business days after the last bid was made and results have been verified by a third party. Participants were not allowed to discuss the auction with one another, or the public, during the process, so we don’t yet know which carriers bid for what spectrum.

If you’ll recall, after WIND Mobile’s parent company, Globalive, dropped out of the auction the day before it was set to begin, 10 companies remained:

  • Bell Mobility Inc.
  • Bragg Communications Incorporated (Eastlink Wireless)
  • Feenix Wireless Inc. (Group lead by John Bitove)
  • MTS Inc.
  • Novus Wireless Inc. (Novus)
  • Rogers Communications Partnership
  • Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel)
  • TBayTel
  • TELUS Communications Company
  • Vidéotron

Vidéotron, as one of the few established regional telcos with the resources to buy a significant amount of spectrum, is rumoured to have plans to expand outside of its home province of Quebec. Analysts have even gone so far as to suggest that Vidéotron will work with ailing Mobilicity to launch a national network to compete with Rogers, TELUS and Bell.

The latter three incumbents are limited to purchasing one block of paired spectrum for each of the 14 regions being auctioned off, while “new entrants” — carriers with under 10% share of the national wireless market — can bid on two blocks.

We’ll find out the fate of Canada’s wireless market tomorrow.

[source]Industry Canada[/source]