Industry Canada

Industry Canada

February 27, 2014 08:25 ET

Industry Minister James Moore Issues Decision on NextWave-Inukshuk Spectrum Transfer Proposal

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 27, 2014) - Industry Minister James Moore today made the following statement:

"Last October, Industry Canada received a request to transfer 83 Wireless Communications Services spectrum licences from NextWave to Inukshuk, which is owned by Rogers Communications and Bell Canada.

"After considering this request under our Spectrum Licence Transfer Framework, Industry Canada has determined that this licence transfer would lead to unacceptable levels of concentration of spectrum in the hands of incumbent carriers that negatively affects competition in our wireless sector. Industry Canada will therefore not approve the proposed NextWave to Inukshuk spectrum transfer request.

"Canadians have been clear that they want their government to make decisions that result in more choice, lower prices and better service in our wireless sector. We will not approve any spectrum transfer request that results in excessive spectrum concentration for Canada's largest wireless companies, which negatively affects competition in the telecommunications sector. As we set out in the Speech from the Throne and Economic Action Plan 2014, our government is committed to improving high-speed Internet access for Canadians in rural and northern communities, and we will continue to stand up for consumers first in our wireless sector."

For more information, see the decision notice and the accompanying backgrounder.

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Backgrounder

NextWave-Inukshuk Spectrum Licence Transfer Request

On October 29, 2013, Inukshuk Wireless Partnership, a partnership between Bell Canada and Rogers Communications, along with 4253311 Canada Inc. (NextWave) submitted a joint application to Industry Canada to transfer NextWave's 83 spectrum licences across Canada in the Wireless Communications Services (WCS) band to Inukshuk. WCS consists of 30 MHz of spectrum in the 2300 MHz band.

Industry Canada assessed this transfer request under its Spectrum Licence Transfer Framework, which was released in June 2013, and found that if approved, the transfer would represent a significant shift in spectrum concentration in the WCS band. Bell and Rogers, through Inukshuk, would increase their combined WCS spectrum holdings from 29 percent to 77 percent.

Additionally, because there is only one paired block of WCS spectrum, only one licensee can hold a licence in a given geographic tier. As such, if this request was approved, 95 percent of the WCS spectrum would effectively be held by Bell, Rogers and TELUS Communications.

Industry Canada developed the Spectrum Licence Transfer Framework to support the government's policy objective to maximize the economic and social benefits that Canadians derive from the use of the radio frequency spectrum resource, including the efficiency and competitiveness of the Canadian telecommunications industry and the availability and quality of services to consumers.

All commercial mobile spectrum transfer requests are reviewed against the Framework to determine the ability of the applicants and existing and future competitors to provide services given the post-transfer concentration. Decisions on transfer requests are made on a case-by-case basis and are issued publicly to increase transparency.

Contact Information

  • Jake Enwright
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable James Moore
    Minister of Industry
    613-995-9001

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada
    613-943-2502
    media-relations@ic.gc.ca