Canadian wireless spectrum auction close to end?

The latest Canadian wireless spectrum auction appears to be nearing the end. One bidding round this morning failed to get any bids before a few new ones trickled in in later rounds in the afternoon. To date, over 300 bidding rounds have raised more than CAD$4.25 billion, far in excess of what had been predicted.

It’s probably no big surprise that Canada’s three largest carriers have bid the most to date. Rogers Wireless leads the pack with CAD$997 million in bids, followed by Telus Mobility with CAD$879 million and Bell Mobility with CAD$738 million. With forty percent of the available spectrum set aside for new entrants, Quebec-based Quebecor Inc, leads the way with CAD$555 million in bids. It is followed by Globalive Communications with CAD$444 million and Data & Audio-Visual Enterprises Wireless with CAD$243 million.

While the news that we could see new national carriers in Canada could be good news for competition and pricing, the newcomers could quickly face a new challenge: Too little bandwidth. Compared to the incumbents, any of the new players will likely need additional bandwidth as mobile devices use up more and more bandwidth as additional services are offered to customers.

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