2012 earliest for next Canadian wireless spectrum auction

It appears that there won’t be another wireless spectrum auction in Canada until 2012 at the earliest. Industry Minister Tony Clement suggested that the government will first decide whether or not to ease current restrictions on foreign ownership of Canadian telecommunication companies. With an election set for 2011, such a decision would only happen in 2011 or 2012.

In the meantime, the Canadian government will begin consultations to decide on how to conduct the next auction. Among the open questions are whether to set aside spectrum for new players (as was done in 2008) and whether to sell the 700MHz and 2500MHz spectrum at the same time.

The Canadian government first revealed its intentions to review the foreign ownership rules (currently set at a maximum of 46.7 percent) in March as part of its throne speech. It then released a consultation paper in June, inviting feedback.

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