In the light of the COVID-19 health crisis, the Government of Canada has delayed the auction for 3500 MHz 5G wireless spectrum. The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, has today announced a six-month postponement of the 5G spectrum auction process and its associated key dates.
Minister Bains said that Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada will continue to monitor COVID-19’s impact on the telecom industry and remains open to further changes to the timelines for spectrum auctions if necessary.
With 3500 MHz spectrum auction now scheduled to start on June 15, 2021, Minister Bains also announced that a consultation on the 3800 MHz band would be launched in August, which will give stakeholders the opportunity to comment on how additional spectrum can be used to further support Canada’s world-class wireless infrastructure.
“Canada’s telecommunications service providers are doing their part in this difficult time, providing essential services to keep Canadians connected as we face the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic together. A number of providers have raised concerns, and the Government is implementing measures to address them. The Government will continue to reach out to telecommunications service providers—and to the private sector more broadly—to understand their challenges and support them to ensure that Canadians have access to high-quality networks and broad coverage at low prices.”
Minister Bains added that the Canadians are continuing to rely on their wireless services during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Government remains committed to low prices.