And then there were twelve. When Industry Canada published the list of companies that had expressed an interest in the upcoming 700MHz spectrum auction, a total of 15 companies were on the list. Three smaller players have now withdrawn. The three are 1770129 Alberta Inc., BH Wave Acquisition Corporation and Vecima Networks Inc. No reasons were given for the three withdrawals.
The twelve remaining bidders are:
- Bell Mobility Inc.
- Bragg Communications Incorporated
- Feenix Wireless Inc.
- Globalive Wireless Management Corp.
- MTS Inc.
- Novus Wireless Inc.
- Rogers Communications Partnership
- Saskatchewan Telecommunications
- TELUS Communications Company
- The Catalyst Capital Group Inc.
- Vidéotron s.e.n.c.
The 700MHz spectrum auction will kick off on January 14, 2014. The Canadian government’s wish to see a fourth national carrier establish itself means that Canada’s big three carriers will only be allowed to bid for one of four prime blocks of spectrum whereas the smaller players will be allowed to bid on two. Between this and the fact that his spectrum provides better reception inside buildings and wider coverage in rural areas, bidding could prove to be particularly heated and prove to be a windfall for the government, much as the last auction which netted it over CA$4.2 billion.