Back in October, Inukshuk, a partnership between Rogers and Bell, submitted a joint application with NextWave to Industry Canada, requesting that the Minister approve the transfer of NextWave’s 83 spectrum licences across Canada in the Wireless Communications Services (WCS) band.
After analyzing the application, the Industry Minister has denied the transfer of spectrum from NextWave to Inukshuk, as it is against the government’s wireless policy and the criteria set out in the Transfers Framework.
“After considering this request under our Spectrum Licence Transfer Framework, Industry Canada has determined that this licence transfer would lead to unacceptable levels of concentration of spectrum in the hands of incumbent carriers that negatively affects competition in our wireless sector. Industry Canada will therefore not approve the proposed NextWave to Inukshuk spectrum transfer request.
Also, if the transfer had been approved, it would have resulted in too much spectrum concentration in the WCS band, increasing Bell’s and Rogers’s combined WCS spectrum holdings to 77%, up from 29%. Furthermore, if this application had been approved, the Big Three (Rogers, Telus, Bell) would have retained 95% of the WCS spectrum.
The importance of the WCS band to commercial mobile has increased, as the ecosystem for advanced LTE services is expected to expand within the next few years.