Six companies obtained licences during a recent sale of leftover spectrum in Canada, a process the government said was evidence of its “continuing support for a competitive wireless market”.
A total of CAD43.4 million ($33.7 million) was raised in the sale of licences described as residual, those unassigned or returned from previous licensing processes in the 700MHz, 2300MHz, 2500MHz and PCS-G bands
The winners included mobile operators Telus, Ecotel, Freedom Mobile and Xplornet, along with telecommunications and media company Cogeco Communications and Iris Technologies, a provider of VoIP services.
Cogeco Communications was the top bidder, acquiring 23 licences in the 2300MHz and 2500MHz bands for CAD24.3 million.
Xplornet acquired 16 licences in the 2500MHz band for CAD8.2 million; Freedom Mobile bought 11 licences in the same range for CAD8.6 million. Ecotel spent CAD1.2 million on eight licences, including two 700MHz blocks.
Telus bought the PCS-G spectrum for CAD0.9 million.
“The government will continue to support competition and investment in telecommunications so that Canadians continue to benefit from next-generation technologies and that Canada remains at the forefront of innovation,” the Innovation, Science and Economic Development department said in a statement.
Just last week at the TM Forum’s Digital Transformation World event, Telus CTO Ibrahim Gedeon told Mobile World Live Canada will fall behind the rest of the world when it comes to the launch of 5G services because its spectrum allocation plan is no longer aligned with global trends.