Deadline set for carriers to commit to AWS-3 spectrum auction

Wireless antennaIndustry Canada today held a technical briefing to explain some of the finer points of its recently announced Advanced Wireless Services-3 (AWS-3) spectrum auction. Consultation details were also published online, giving us a better understanding of how the auction will work.

Industry Canada views the licensing of AWS-3 spectrum as an opportunity to release wireless spectrum to support investment and improve services for both newer and established carriers. In particular, it presents a key opportunity to support competition and the provision of competitive advanced commercial mobile services to Canadians.

Potential bidders will need to submit their applications to participate by January 30, 2015. The auction will follow shortly after with winners expected to be announced in March and ahead of the start to the 2500MHz spectrum auction set to start in April.

The AWS-3 spectrum auction will see the Canadian government offer up 50MHz of paired spectrum with 60% of it being set aside for carriers with less than 10% national and 20% provincial market share. Other rules include:

  • strict provisions on the transfer of AWS-3 spectrum so that Canadian consumers benefit from increased competition in wireless services
  • a simpler, shorter auction process that will provide operating new entrants with a visible path to high-quality spectrum

While no carriers have yet to commit to the AWS-3 spectrum auction, WIND Mobile was quick to announce its support for it and is likely to enter if it can secure the necessary financial backing. We can also expect to see Videotron enter as signs increasingly point to it considering extending its reach beyond Quebec.

Source : Industry Canada