Canada announces qualified bidders for 3.8 GHz spectrum auction

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Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) has published the final list of 22 qualified applicants for an upcoming auction through which the government will award 5G licenses in the 3.8 GHz spectrum band.

In a statement, ISED said that the qualified bidders include: Rogers, Telus, Bell, Videotron, Eastlink, SaskTel, Tbaytel, Sogetel, Brooke Telecom, Bruce Telecom, CityWest, ABC Internet, Cooptel, Ecotel, Elite General Partnership, HuronTel, Indigitel, MPVWIFI, NE&W SPC, Novus, NWIC and Kingston Online Services.

The 3.8 GHz spectrum auction is scheduled to begin on October 24, 2023.

Last year, the government of Canada had announced the rules for its auction of 3.8 GHz spectrum. The government decided to impose a 100-megahertz cap on the large national providers as to how much combined 3.5 GHz and 3.8 GHz spectrum they can acquire.

The government also said it will implement strong deployment requirements ensuring companies must “use or lose” the spectrum they win.

These rules follow the government’s decision to repurpose the 3.8 MHz band to support 5G services, which was announced in 2021.

The government of Canada also recently announced an outline detailing how it plans on releasing spectrum for mobile communications services between 2023 and 2027, and the spectrum bands under consideration.

The government said that its “Spectrum Outlook 2023 to 2027” lays out the government’s spectrum release plans for the coming years, ensuring that enough spectrum is available for the provision of mobile services nationwide.

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