If Mobilicity’s financial backers thought they would be able to obtain the set-aside AWS-3 spectrum licences for the minimum bidding price in the regions they operate, well, they were terribly wrong. A day before the final deadline for deposits, WIND Mobile has announced its intention to participate in both the AWS-3 and 2500 MHz spectrum auctions.
According to spectrum auction rules, Ottawa has to set aside 60% of the total 50 MHz available for carriers that already provide wireless services, but have less than 10% of the national market and less than 20% of market share by province.
This means that WIND Mobile and Mobilicity are the only ones qualified to bid on set-aside spectrum in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. The minimum bid in those areas being $62.5.
Mobilicity, in an attempt to maintain its price tag, has secured last-minute funding for spectrum licences: as it seeks a buyer. It is also worth mentioning that the struggling carrier has been under creditor protection since September 2013.
WIND Mobile has expressed its hunger for spectrum plenty of times since Anthony Lacavera’s Globalive overtook the carrier with the help of a consortium of financial backers. The carrier hailed Ottawa’s move to licence more spectrum last year and has today reiterated its determination to become the fourth national player.
“The Canadian government has taken positive steps toward ensuring that precious wireless spectrum is put to competitive use across Canada,” said WIND Mobile Founder and Chairman Anthony Lacavera. “Our participation in the upcoming AWS-3 and 2500MHz auctions reaffirms our long-standing commitment to build a competitive wireless industry in Canada.”
Seen from this perspective WIND’s announcement is not a surprise, but it will certainly affect Mobilicity’s future. We’ve reached out Mobilicity, but the carrier has declined to comment on WIND’s decision to participate in the auction.