Canada’s spectrum auction raises record $7.2 bln as firms equipment for higher-pace net

Hanging cubes display screen 5G logos at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 26, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photograph

OTTAWA, July 29 (Reuters) – Canada’s auction of 3500 MHz spectrum, which is key for future era 5G networks, generated a history C$8.9 billion ($7.2 billion), with the country’s a few dominant telecom providers accounting for more than 80% of the amount raised.

Out of 1,504 offered licenses, 1,495 were being awarded to 15 Canadian companies, like 757 licenses to smaller and regional vendors, Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne stated in a statement on Thursday.

The outcomes would increase competitors, he included, a reference to Ottawa’s push to open up a marketplace dominated by BCE Inc (BCE.TO), Telus Corp (T.TO) and Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO), identified as the big three.

Canadian customers have complained of steep wireless expenses, which are among the the optimum in the earth, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal governing administration has asked operators to reduce charges by a quarter by 2021.

Preliminary final results confirmed that BCE Inc invested C$2.1 billion, Rogers C$3.3 billion and Telus Corp C$1.9 billion.

The 3500 MHz range airwaves are key to offer 5G wi-fi products and services as they have larger sized volumes of details over lengthy distances. They also provide speedier upload and download speeds and aid electricity everything from good towns to driverless cars and trucks.

Vidéotron, owned by Quebecor Inc (QBRb.TO), invested C$830 million to extend its geographic footprint in Canada, acquiring licenses not just in its indigenous Quebec but also in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.

The go signifies that Quebecor strategies to come to be a assistance service provider in those places, reported Mark Goldberg, an sector analyst. He noted that the areas the place the organization did not bid – Saskatchewan and Atlantic Canada – the two have preexisting powerful fourth rivals to the significant 3.

“They are organized to be the fourth service company… This is exhibiting fairly near to a billion dollars in financial investment in spectrum,” Goldberg claimed.

Vidéotron stated in a assertion that the financial investment would enable the organization to “know its ambition of boosting healthful competitors in telecom outside of the borders of Québec.”

Bell, Rogers and Telus said their investments will assistance to provide trustworthy 5G expert services.

The auction, to begin with set to take spot in June 2020 and delayed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, closed immediately after 8 times and 103 rounds of bidding, the governing administration explained. browse far more

($1 = 1.2444 Canadian pounds)

Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa and Moira Warburton in Vancouver Enhancing by Diane Craft and Richard Pullin

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