Wind Mobile Wins Licences in AWS-3 Spectrum Auction [u]


The clear winner in the long-anticipated AWS-3 spectrum is Wind Mobile: The carrier increased its holdings by 180%, winning set-aside spectrum licences, Industry Minister James Moore announced today in a press release.

Spectrum auction

Ottawa held a sealed-bid auction for the AWS-3 spectrum allowing wireless players access to valuable airwaves. Wind Mobile was competing against Mobilicity in the three areas in which it operates, but – in line with yesterday’s Financial Post report – the latter apparently remained without financing, which prevented the bleeding carrier from making a viable bid.

That was just perfect for Wind Mobile: It obtained AWS-3 airwave licences in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario, for an entry-level bid of $56.4 million, increasing its spectrum holdings by 180%.

“Spectrum is a vital public resource and it is the government’s responsibility to allocate it in a way that encourages robust competition and choice in the wireless market. The result of the AWS-3 auction supports our government’s policies of delivering more choice, lower prices and better service on the latest technologies,” said James Moore, Minister of Industry.

The next winner was Eastlink, which obtained licences in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Northern Ontario for $9.9 million (increasing its spectrum holdings by 77%). Videotron came out as the third winner, securing licences in Québec and Eastern Ontario for $31.8 million.

Telus increased its spectrum holdings by 16%, winning licences in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Québec, with a $1.5 billion bid. Bell paid a total of $499.8 million for licences in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Northern Québec, Ontario, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon.

The AWS-3 spectrum auction raised $2.11 billion for Ottawa.

Update: Wind Mobile said in statement:

“This is tremendous news for WIND Mobile and our fantastic customers, and it’s exciting news for all Canadian mobile users, who will now benefit from true competition in wireless services for years to come,” said Anthony Lacavera, Founder and Chairman of WIND Mobile. “This much-needed spectrum will enable WIND Mobile to launch LTE and helps level the playing field against the Big Three national carriers.”

Stephen Howe, Bell’s Chief Technology Officer commented: “Bell’s networks lead in speed and success in the AWS-3 auction will ensure we stay on top. We look forward to putting this highly efficient spectrum to work for our customers as quickly as possible, as we have with the powerful 700 MHz bandwidth we acquired last year. ”

TELUS President and CEO Joe Natale said, “We are very pleased to secure such high quality spectrum across the country, and to have won 75 per cent of the spectrum available to us in this auction.


  • poopchute

    What does this actually mean for Wind customers?
    What frequencies will they use for LTE?
    And, when will they roll it out?

  • kkritsilas

    it means that going forward, there will be less spectrum congestion for Wind customers. It will take a while, probably 12-18 months for this to be felt. Handsets that can use this spectrum are not here yet, but the towers should be fairly easy to reconfigure. When the handsets become available, anybody with the new handsets should be able to use the new frequencies, reducing demand for the current spectrum, and over time, the same customers, and probably many more, will have access to 4X the spectrum that they have now.

    The second part of this is that it will probably allow Wind to roll out LTE.


  • Jason Bjerke

    Will it help with coverage area in BC? Wind has some great pricing, but have been leary as many people say coverage around lower mainland bc can be spoty

  • crawler73

    LTE will roll out in 2016.