Canada raises $1.7 billion in spectrum auction

Canada raises $1.7 billion in spectrum auction

The Canadian government has raised $1.7 billion (C$2.1 billion) in a spectrum auction aimed to introduce greater competition in the country.

Five operators - Wind Mobile, Quebecor, Eastlink, Bell, Telus – acquired spectrum in an auction that saw the country’s smaller carriers paying much lesser than national players.  

Wind Mobile, Quenecor, Eastlink and Bell each acquired 30MHz licences for approximately $44.9 million (C$56.4 million), $25 million (C$31.8 million), $7.9 million (C$10 million) and $396 million (C$500 million). Telus paid $1.35 million (C$1.51 billion) for 15MHz.

Rogers Communications, the country’s largest operator and biggest buyer in the 700MHz spectrum auction last year, did not buy any licences. A company spokesperson said the company had already acquired the spectrum it wanted last year. 

“The winning bidders now have more spectrum to deliver next-generation services and devices and to improve the services they offer Canadians,” the country’s Industry Minister James Moore told reporters. 

“New competitors, on average, have increased their spectrum holdings by 107%. This is key for ongoing and future competition in Canada’s wireless world.”

The Canadian government has set aside spectrum for new and smaller players in a bid to increase competition in a market dominated by Telus, Rogers Communications and BCE. 

The next spectrum auction covering 2,500MHz is scheduled for April 14. 

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