Quebecor Profits as it Sells GTA AWS-1 Spectrum to Rogers for $184 Million [u]

Quebecor, parent company of Videotron in Quebec, has sold its Toronto-area AWS-1 spectrum license to Rogers for $184 million. Does this axe any future plans for Videotron to expand nationally and outside Quebec? The company already reiterated it had no plans to build wireless to the rest of Canada in 2015.

Videotron held the transfer option to Rogers, after both companies collaborated to expand LTE networks in 2013.

Selling at nearly $184 million means Quebecor has made a hefty profit, compared to its original purchase price.

TELUS SVP of Federal Government and Regulatory Affairs, Ted Woodhead, tweeted “Spectrum trafficking is a profitable business! $88M windfall and round it up to $100M to cover the value of the option. #badpublicpolicy”

Regulatory authorities approved the deal this morning (Updated). Videotron says this sale will help its ongoing 4G network expansion plans in Quebec and Eastern Ontario, including future 5G network deployment.

David Watt, Rogers senior vice-president, regulatory, told CBC News. “We’ll be putting this spectrum to good use. This means more wireless capacity so our customers can stream more and more mobile video and connect with friends and family.” He added “This is great news for consumers.”

Videotron paid about $96 million for the AWS-1 spectrum in a 2008 auction.

Update: the deal was approved earlier this morning:

The overall Transfer of Licence from Vidéotron to Rogers is approved.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Si2k78

    This should be illegal. Spectrum auctions are meant to increase competition within the wireless industry, not for companies to hoard and resell on the secondary market.

  • Anonymous

    Welcome !! Perfect gift from Liberal govt. to Canadians. Conservatives did good and put their foot down and worked to increase competition in wireless in Canada. And these stupid liberals are killing all that effort one by one by approving all these horrendous deals. First MTS/Bell and now this. This spectrum was kept aside for smaller carriers to grow not buy it cheap and sell it high. Who knows Quebecor was acting as Rogers puppet in this auction all this time. Looks like it.

  • raslucas

    They should have forced them to give a toss-over to Freedom… how much of a game changer would that spectrum be for Freedom?