Share:

Wireless Entrants to Hold Over 25% of Total Spectrum by May: Industry Canada

Share:

Industry Canada has finally unveiled the list of the companies applying for the upcoming wireless spectrum auctions, but don’t expect any surprises: you’ll find familiar names on both lists (via the Globe and Mail).

Cell tower

While Wind Mobile and Videotron appear on both the AWS-3 and the 2500 MHz spectrum auction participants list, we can only find Mobilicity on the first. You may recall that the struggling wireless player has been under creditor protection since 2013, and barely managed to secure the $65 million financing required to participate on this auction.

The other three rural Internet providers, CCI Wireless, SSi Internet Inc. and Xplornet Communications Inc, are also interested in acquiring AWS-3 spectrum licences. However, this isn’t the final list: Industry Canada will publish the definitive list of qualified bidders next Friday, on February 13.

You may recall that Industry Minister James Moore emphasised that the government has set aside 60% of the AWS-3 spectrum for new entrants. The auction will kick off on March 3rd.

“Spectrum is a vital public resource and the invisible infrastructure on which wireless information travels. For new wireless companies to be able to compete and provide choice to Canadians, spectrum is essential. Less than one year ago, nearly 90 percent of spectrum was held by Canada’s largest wireless companies. Due to these auctions, by May 2015 we expect new wireless companies to hold over 25 percent of the total wireless spectrum available.

“As a result of our actions, new players have entered the wireless market and prices have fallen on average by 22 percent. We look forward to these upcoming spectrum auctions creating even more choice, lower prices and better service for Canadian consumers.”

The second auction, for the 2500 MHz airwaves— scheduled for April 14 — doesn’t have such benefits for new entrants. Telus, however, is expected to score big at this auction, since both Bell and Rogers have already, in some regions, exceeded the spectrum cap Ottawa has imposed.

In terms of money, the AWS-3 auction could bring about $1.8 billion from incumbents, while the 2500 MHz auction could, according to BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc.’s Tim Casey, net about $850 million.

Applicants for 2500MHz spectrum licences

1. Bell Mobility Inc.
2. Bragg Communications Incorporated
3. Corridor Communications Inc.
4. MTS Inc.
5. Rogers Communications Partnership
6. SSi Micro Ltd.
7. TBayTel
8. TELUS Communications Company
9. Vidéotron s.e.n.c.
10. WIND Mobile Corp.
11. Xplornet Communications Inc.

Applicants for AWS-3 spectrum licences

1. Bell Mobility Inc.
2. Bragg Communications Incorporated
3. Data & Audio-Visual Enterprises Wireless Inc.
4. MTS Inc.
5. Rogers Communications Partnership
6. Saskatchewan Telecommunications
7. TBayTel
8. TELUS Communications Company
9. Vidéotron s.e.n.c.
10. WIND Mobile Corp.

Share:

Deals