Industry Minister Announces 2500MHz Spectrum Auction Details for April 2015

James Moore1

In line with an earlier report, Industry Minister James Moore announced the licensing details for the forthcoming 2500MHz spectrum auction scheduled for April 14, 2015. The minister has underscored that Ottawa will apply caps which will allow four or more wireless providers in each region to access 2500MHz spectrum, which aims to create competition in the wireless landscape.

The announcement comes ahead of the 700MHz spectrum auction that kicks off next Tuesday and has 11 bidders.

“Today’s announcement means Canadian consumers in urban and rural areas will soon benefit from the deployment of advanced mobile and broadband services across the country, which will lead to better, faster Internet services on the latest technologies. The rules for this auction, like those for the upcoming 700 MHz auction, were designed to support more choice in our wireless market while putting the interests of consumers first,” Industry Minister James Moore said.

As the minister pointed out, the 2500MHz spectrum auction will feature smaller geographic license areas as it aims to attract Internet service providers and increase their ability to improve services such as broadband. The 2500MHz spectrum band is ideal for deploying LTE networks.

Auction rules are specifically designed to put consumers first:

– spectrum caps to ensure that four or more providers have the opportunity to access 2500 MHz spectrum, thus fostering competition;
– smaller geographic licence areas, providing more opportunity for rural Internet service providers to participate in this auction; and
– strict provisions on transfers of the 2500 MHz spectrum so that Canadian consumers continue to benefit from competitive market forces.

The spectrum auction scheduled for 2015 is part of Ottawa’s plan to provide wider consumer choice and better services in the wireless market. Looking back to 2013, the minister highlighted their recent moves: the investigation of wholesale roaming rates and other efforts made by the government to provide better wireless services and more choice to Canadians. The upcoming 700MHz spectrum is also an important move toward fostering more competition among carriers.

The 2500 MHz spectrum auction will kick off on April 14, 2015, and applications are due on November 27, 2014.