MTS Plans to Skip Upcoming 700MHz Wireless Spectrum Auction

Regional carrier Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) says it plans to bypass the upcoming 700MHz spectrum auction for airwaves outside of the province.

The reason? MTS recently sold its nation-wide Allstream fiber optic network in May which essentially put an end to any plans to expand across Canada to go along with existing landline and internet services in the province, reports the Globe and Mail:

“It would have to be a heck of a great deal to make it attractive to MTS now, so it is not currently the plan,” CEO Pierre Blouin said at an investor conference that was webcast to media, referring to a plan to bid broadly in the auction.

Blouin said that proceeds from the $520-million sale would help MTS strengthen its position in Manitoba and allows investors to judge the company as a pure regional communications company.

The Allstream fibre-optic network was sold to Accelero Capital Holdings, which belongs to Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, the original foreign backer of WIND Mobile. His company was previously rumoured to be working with WIND Mobile founder Anthony Lacavera’s AAL Corp. holding company to possibly buy out the entire stake of the wireless entrant.

MTS currently has a networking sharing agreement with Rogers for their 4G and 4G LTE coverage. The company is expected to also offer the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on September 20.

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