CANADA TO HOLD AWS-3 WIRELESS AUCTION IN 2015, MOORE SAYS

 (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 consumers  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 entrants;  • 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.  Quick facts  • 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 this summer.  • 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.  Quote  “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 Backgrounder 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 consumer handsets.  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, including:  • 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 after); and  • Whether a simplified and accelerated auction process, using a sealed-bid format, would be the best approach to encourage participation.  (bjh) NY  #<873920.660640.3.13.0.0.76>#    
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