Feds Clarify Telus Spectrum Transfer Approval in Manitoba
Recently, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) approved the transfer of wireless spectrum from X-Spectrum 2 (formerly Xplore Mobile) to Telus in Manitoba.
When reached for clarification on the federal department’s approval this year, compared to denying a similar transfer request from Xplore Mobile to Telus last year, ISED provided some more details behind its decision to iPhone in Canada.
ISED says the two requests were treated differently due to their distinct characteristics, including the amounts and bands of spectrum involved in Manitoba.
The 2022 request for the transfer of Xplore Mobile spectrum to Telus was denied because it “raised substantial concerns that the resulting concentration of spectrum would impede the ability of future mobile competitors to provide wireless services and effectively compete in Manitoba,” according to ISED’s notices of decision.
Meanwhile, the 2023 request for the transfer of X-Spectrum 2 to Telus was approved. An ISED spokesperson told iPhone in Canada the decision was made because it “will not affect the ability of existing or future competitors to provide services in the relevant areas.”
The first two licenses from X-Spectrum 2 to Telus, set to expire on June 23, 2035, cover the frequency range of 2500-2510 MHz and 2620-2630 MHz in the geographic areas of Brandon and Winnipeg. The other two licenses, expiring on September 1, 2039, operate in the frequency range of 1740-1745 MHz and 2140-2145 MHz, also in both cities.
ISED emphasized that its policy on spectrum transfers has not changed and that it continues to assess the levels of spectrum concentration with the aim of preserving competition in the wireless services market.
The agency also noted that the Moratorium on Certain Spectrum Licence Transfers is still in effect. However, it did not apply to the approved 2023 transfer as it did not meet the Moratorium’s definition of a “high-impact” transfer.
“The Government of Canada has been clear that greater affordability, competition, and innovation in the Canadian telecommunications sector are important. The government manages spectrum to maximize the economic and social benefits that Canadians derive from its use,” said the ISED spokesperson.