Canadian Wireless Spectrum Auction will not favour Big Three Telecoms

Canada’s federal government lent a helpful hand to smaller telecoms in anticipation of next year’s wireless spectrum auction, to be held March, 2019. According to the Financial Post, it decided that 43 percent of the 70 MHz of available spectrum for “potential new entrants and regional competitors.”

The decision was recommended by the Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) department, which cited the need to “increase competition and affordability” in Canada’s telecom industry.

“Competition is a key driver of innovative and affordable telecommunications services,” ISED Minister Navdeep Bains said in a statement. “This is an important step toward more choices, lower prices and higher quality cell phone services for Canadians.”

The auction next March deals in particular with very valuable blocks of airwave. Financial Post describes that the “600 MHz frequency can carry signals over long distances and penetrate buildings, qualities that make it desirable in both rural and urban areas.”

Of course, Rogers, Bell, and Telus weren’t delighted to hear that their purchasing power will be limited. Rogers CEO Joe Natale referred to these auctions as “the lifeblood of our industry” while Telus CEO Darren Entwistle criticized ISED for treating “strong regional players like start-ups.”

Many in favour of ISED’s decision hope it will lead to more affordability for Canadians.

Source: financialpost.com – Ottawa favours smaller wireless players over Big Three in spectrum auction rules
Published: March 28, 2018