Reuters: Canada concludes 700MHz spectrum auction (Update: Confirmed)

Wireless antennaCanada kicked off its 700MHz spectrum auction on January 14. It kicked off with 10 parties vying for the valuable spectrum after five others, including WIND Mobile, dropped out ahead of its start. With fewer participants, the auction had been expected to take less time but also possibly bring the government less revenues. Citing a number of unnamed sources, Reuters today reports that the auction has now wrapped up. In fact, it may have been finished or nearly so last week.

The report adds that final results will be published within days, possibly as early as tomorrow and no later than Thursday. Before they are, Industry Canada is conducting a review to ensure that the results are legitimate. Two sources indicate that this verification is necessary to “avoid collusion or unnatural bidding” that could have arisen given the auction’s complex bidding rules. It has five days after the auction closes to complete this process and publish the results.

Analysts have predicted that the 700MHz auction could net the Canadian government between CA$1.5 and CA$1.8 billion.

Big winners are expected to be Canada’s big three carriers (Bell, Rogers, TELUS) and regional carriers including as MTS and Videotron. It will be interesting to see if lesser-known players such as Feenix Wireless Inc. and Novus Wireless Inc. will have managed to secure any licenses.

Industry Canada refused to comment with a spokesman for Industry Minister James Moore calling the report speculation.

Update: Industry Minister James Moore has now confirmed via Twitter that the auction has come to an end. Results will be released tomorrow (Wednesday, February 19) at 1700 ET.

Source : Reuters