(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by the Government of Canada and received via electronic
mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.)
Harper Government to Release More Valuable Spectrum to
Strengthen Competition in Canada’s Wireless Industry
A new spectrum auction, with a large block set aside for
operating new entrants, to deliver more choice for Canadian
July 7, 2014 - Toronto - Industry Canada
Canada’s wireless consumers have been clear that they want their
government to make decisions that will lead to more choice,
lower prices and better wireless service.
Today, the Government of Canada took another step in delivering
for consumers by unveiling details of a new spectrum auction.
Beginning next year, AWS-3 spectrum licences will be made
available to wireless companies. AWS-3 spectrum is ideal for
delivering fast, reliable service to Canadians on the latest
smartphones, tablets and mobile devices.
Consistent with the Government’s previous spectrum auctions, the
AWS-3 spectrum auction will have rules designed specifically to
put Canadian consumers first. These include:
• a large 30 MHz block of spectrum set aside for operating new
• strict provisions on the transfer of AWS-3 spectrum so that
Canadian consumers benefit from increased competition in
wireless services; and
• a simpler, shorter auction process that will provide operating
new entrants with a visible path to high-quality spectrum.
• AWS-3 spectrum is ideal for delivering fast, reliable service
on the latest smartphones, tablets and mobile devices.
• The AWS-3 band also includes 50 MHz of paired spectrum and is
adjacent to the AWS spectrum auctioned in 2008.
• Consultations on the licensing of this spectrum will begin
• A streamlined licensing process will allow wireless providers
to have the results of AWS-3 auction before the 2500 MHz
auction, scheduled on April 14, 2015.
“Our government will continue to take make decisions that will
lead to more choice, lower prices and better service for
Canadian consumers. Today’s announcement will help new entrants
acquire valuable new spectrum to help expand their networks and
deliver fast, reliable service to Canadians. The rules for this
auction, consistent with the ones for the 700 MHz and 2500 MHz
auctions, will encourage more competition in the wireless market
while ensuring the interests of consumers first.”
- Industry Minister James Moore
July 7, 2014
AWS-3 Spectrum Auction
The Government of Canada has consistently made decisions to
provide Canadians with more choice, lower prices and better
service. In the 2008 Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum
auction and in the 700 MHz wireless spectrum auction in 2014,
measures were enacted to promote competition in all regions of
the country and protect consumers’ interests.
To further encourage competition and make more spectrum
available for operating new entrants, the Government will set
aside one 30 MHz block of AWS-3 spectrum for these providers in
each region of the country. Wireless carriers with less than 10
percent national and 20 percent provincial/territorial wireless
subscriber market share will be eligible to bid on the set-aside
in licence areas where they are providing services to Canadians.
This auction will take place before the 2500 MHz auction, which
is scheduled to start in April 2015.
AWS-3 spectrum was identified in the Industry Canada 2013
Commercial Mobile Spectrum Outlook as a future source of
additional commercial mobile spectrum with a projected licensing
date as early as 2015. The AWS-3 spectrum band is adjacent to
the AWS spectrum auctioned in 2008 and is well-suited for
delivering next-generation commercial mobile services, including
those using Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology. Industry
Canada is anticipating its proximity to the AWS band will
facilitate expedited network deployment and availability of
To develop an auction and licensing framework for the AWS-3
spectrum band, the Government is holding a public consultation
this summer. Feedback is being sought on proposed details,
• Whether licences for AWS-3 should include deployment
requirements in both the short term (for example, five years
after the licences are issued) and the long term (ten years
• Whether a simplified and accelerated auction process, using a
sealed-bid format, would be the best approach to encourage
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