Rogers, Telus, and Bell file opposing views on government’s 3800MHz band consultation

The ISED is looking for input on three competitive measure options

The federal government has received 62 separate documents from more than 50 groups sharing opinions on the 3800MHz band spectrum.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) opened the topic for comments in December and was looking for input on three pro-competitive measure options.

The first is a 50MHz set-aside, which means only some service providers will be allowed to bid on that part of the spectrum. It won’t be available to national mobile service providers (NMSPs) — those who possess at least 10 percent of the national wireless subscriber market share.

The second measure is a 100MHz cross-band cap applying to both the 3500MHz and 3800MHz bands. The third measure is a combination of the previous two options.

According to documents filed with the ISED, Telus is against the first option, favouring the 100MHz cross-band cap instead. The company says there’s “a disparity in NMSPs holdings that drives the need for a cross-band cap to facilitate post-auction competition and support investment.”

In a stance against Telus, Rogers says the 100Mhz option “should not be adopted under any circumstances, as it could destroy facilities-based competition between the two national networks” as Bell and Telus will pool their winning spectrums together “into their joint radio access network.”

“There is no justification why the Bell-Telus joint network (which combined only has about half again as many customers as Rogers) should effectively be gifted with the opportunity to assemble and benefit from 200MHz of mid-band spectrum while the Rogers and other networks are limited to 100MHz.”

Bell is against all three options. The company says the pro-competitive measures have “proven that they distort the auction process to the significant benefit of set-aside spectrum recipients and the detriment of Canadian taxpayers.”

Anyone wishing to respond to any of the comments has until March 21st to reply.

Source: Cartt