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Analyst Predicts Quebecor Next to Sell Unused Wireless Spectrum

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As consumer advocacy groups recently voiced their opposition to Rogers acquiring Shaw’s unused AWS spectrum, a new analyst report predicts Quebecor will be the next likely seller of its wireless spectrum, according to Scotia Capital analyst Jeff Fan:

“Shaw agreed to sell an option to Rogers Communications Inc. to purchase its Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) licences beginning in September 2014,” Mr. Fan wrote in his latest Converging Networks report.

“We expect Quebecor will eventually do the same with its unused licences in Toronto.”

Back in 2008, Montreal’s Quebecor purchased AWS spectrum covering the province of Quebec and a portion covering a population of 5.6 million in the City of Toronto, for a total of $554.5 million spent for 17 licenses.

Last fall, Quebecor declared it had no plans to build a wireless network in Toronto. Quebecor’s chief financial officer, Jean-François Pruneau did admit they company had received “inquiries” about their spectrum, which he believes “has increased since we acquired it.”

Fan’s report also predicts WIND Mobile will put up for sale now that the company has become completely foreign owned, with the most likely buyers being the incumbents. Just last week sources noted to The Globe and Mail Rogers was a possible candidate to acquire WIND Mobile.

The analyst believes Canada’s population is not large enough to support a fourth major wireless carrier, therefore the federal government will have no choice to approve the sale of spectrum licenses to prevent them from being unused.

[via The Globe and Mail]

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