Mobilicity calls for ‘spectrum screen’ in upcoming Canadian spectrum auction

MobilicityWith Industry Canada yet to announce details about its next spectrum auction, Canadian carriers have been busy providing their input on how the auction should be run. Mobilicity, which last week released a cartoon summarizing its position, today called on the Canadian government to implement a ‘Spectrum Screen’ like the one used in the U.S. The idea behind this screen is to limit the spectrum and wireless licenses that a carrier can hold.

In the U.S., the FCC uses this spectrum screen to identify carriers that could end up controlling more than a certain amount (typically a third) of spectrum in a given market. When the threshold is exceeded, the FCC can force a carrier to sell off some of this spectrum. Such a move should help increase competition. It was recently used to help block the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger.

Mobilicity adds that the Spectrum Screen works differently than the spectrum auction cap proposed by other carriers. In the latter, the amount that a carrier can purchase in a single auction is limited rather than the carrier’s entire spectrum holdings.

Executive Chairman John Bitove also called on the government “to proactively regulate all used and unused spectrum holdings.”

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