No foreign players to bid in Canadian spectrum auction

24 September 2013 |


Canada’s upcoming spectrum auction has failed to attract any interest from foreign operators.

National operators BCE Bell Nexxia, Rogers Communications and TELUS all intend to bid in the auction but no US participants appeared in a list of 15 applicants published yesterday.

The spectrum auction is due to be held in January next year, and the lack of foreign interest is a significant blow for the Canadian government which was relying on outside participation to boost competition in the country’s mobile sector.

“We believe the outcome of the summer war between the incumbents and the government has resulted in a victory for the incumbent carriers,” said Dvai Ghose, head of research at Canadian investment bank Canaccord Genuity.

“Surely the government realised that the market will not support four carriers per market and must rethink its flawed wireless policy.”

James Moor, Canadian industry minister, said in a statement that despite the lack of outside interest, the government’s policies have already increased competition and lowered prices and expects this trend to continue alongside the auction.

Earlier this year, US giant Verizon retracted its offer to acquire two small wireless companies in Canada until the spectrum auction completes.