The Canadian government’s auction of 3500 MHz spectrum, which is key for 5G networks, raised C$8.9 billion ($7.2 billion), Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said on Thursday.
In a statement, he said 1,495 out of 1,504 available licenses were awarded to 15 Canadian companies, including 757 licenses to small and regional providers. This would boost competition to BCE, Telus and Rogers Communications.
The 3500 MHz spectrum auction has been hotly anticipated by companies looking to expand their 5G coverage in Canada. Preliminary results showed that BCE spent C$2.1 billion, Rogers C$3.3 billion and Telus C$1.9 billion.
The auction, initially set to take place in June 2020 and delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, closed after eight days and 103 rounds of bidding, the government said.