Industry Canada

Industry Canada

March 06, 2015 08:37 ET

AWS-3 Wireless Auction a Win for Consumers

Results of latest spectrum auction support new competitors, offering more choice to consumers

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 6, 2015) - Industry Canada

The results are in: Canada's latest spectrum auction will support wireless competition, and lead to more choice, lower prices and better services for consumers. Industry Minister James Moore today announced that five companies have won spectrum across the country, with new competitors emerging as winning bidders on most of the spectrum. The total revenue generated from the AWS-3 spectrum auction is $2.11 billion, money that will be reinvested in priorities that matter to Canadians.

The AWS-3 auction will enable the delivery of fast, reliable service on the latest smartphones, tablets and mobile devices, as well as encourage sustained competition.

With most of the spectrum in this auction being acquired by new competitors, more of this valuable public resource will be in the hands of those companies that need it to compete. A further opportunity for all wireless companies to acquire even more spectrum will take place on April 14, 2015, when bidding begins on the 2500 MHz spectrum auction.

By summer 2015, following the AWS-3 and 2500 MHz auctions, the amount of spectrum available to provide mobile services to consumers will have grown by almost 60 percent since early 2014. This is the largest amount of spectrum ever released in such a short time in Canada, allowing Canadians and their families to benefit from the latest technologies and world-class services.

Quick facts

  • The AWS-3 auction raised $2.11 billion-money that will be invested in priorities that matter to Canadians.

  • New competitors have increased their mobile spectrum holdings by 107 percent on average and they can now use this spectrum to grow, compete and expand their networks to benefit Canadians.

  • AWS-3 is high-quality spectrum that is key to meeting consumer demand for faster and more reliable networks, that deliver the downloads, streaming content and services they need.

  • The Government's actions on spectrum and other telecommunications issues have had a positive effect: there is more competition today, and wireless prices have fallen on average 22 percent since 2008.

  • All spectrum licences contain strict "use it or lose it" deployment requirements, to help ensure this valuable public resource is put to use to benefit Canadians.

Quotes

"Spectrum is a vital public resource and it is the government's responsibility to allocate it in a way that encourages robust competition and choice in the wireless market. The result of the AWS-3 auction supports our government's policies of delivering more choice, lower prices and better service on the latest technologies."

- James Moore, Minister of Industry

Related products

- Backgrounder

Associated links

- Canada's Wireless Policy

- List of winning bidders in the AWS-3 spectrum auction

Follow us on Twitter: @industrycanada

BACKGROUNDER

AWS-3 Spectrum Auction

It's estimated that within the next five years, more than half the information on the Internet will travel over a wireless connection at some point. Wireless services require spectrum, which is the invisible infrastructure that carries our wireless information. Spectrum has been called the oxygen of our mobile economy.

AWS-3 spectrum will enable better service on the latest smartphones, tablets and mobile devices, as well as support competition in the wireless industry. The proximity of this spectrum to the AWS-1 spectrum auctioned in 2008 will mean quicker network rollout and availability of consumer phones.

On March 3, 2015, the Government held a sealed-bid auction for this valuable publicly owned resource, allowing new competitors to access high-quality spectrum and create the conditions required for greater competition and better consumer outcomes.

To support more competition in the wireless marketplace, 60 percent of this spectrum was set aside for operating new entrants across the country. The remaining 40 percent was open to all qualified bidders.

A further opportunity for wireless companies to acquire spectrum will follow on April 14, 2015, when bidding begins in the 2500 MHz spectrum auction.

By summer 2015, following the 2500 MHz auction, the amount of spectrum available to provide mobile services to consumers will have grown by almost 60 percent since early 2014. This is the largest amount of spectrum ever released in such a short time in Canada, allowing Canadians and their families to benefit from the latest technologies and world-class services.

Bidder Provinces and Territories Final Price Increase in spectrum
Wind British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario $56,400,000 180%
Eastlink Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Northern Ontario $9,957,299 77%
Videotron Quebec and Eastern Ontario $31,800,359 65%
TELUS British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec $1,511,121,133

16%
Bell Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Northern Quebec, Ontario, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon $499,868,630 4%

For more details, please visit our AWS-3 Auction home page and the Canada's Wireless Policy website.

Contact Information

  • Jake Enwright
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Industry
    343-291-2500

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada
    343-291-1777
    media-relations@ic.gc.ca