boycott an upcoming auction of wireless spectrum in Canada, as it feels that
the rules do not give smaller players enough bandwidth to build the most
Yesterday, the government presented rules for a
government auction of prized 700 MHz wireless spectrum. The rules cap how
much spectrum Canada’s three biggest wireless carriers – BCE Inc’s Bell
Canada, Rogers Communications and Telus Corp – will be able to buy.
Canadian government said that it would lift long-held restrictions on foreign
ownership of wireless companies, as it looks to spur competition in
Canada’s fast-growing wireless sector.
“The announcement creates the illusion that the
government has gone all-in to create a competitive wireless landscape, when
they’ve only done half the job,” said Anthony Lacavera, CEO of WIND
The proposed 10 MHz blocks of spectrum would not be
enough for the company to build a long-term evolution (LTE) network to compete
with dominant industry players.
To build out an LTE network, 10 MHz of spectrum is
necessary. This decision allows new entrants access to half that amount and
will prevent any carriers, other than the incumbents, from building faster
networks and keeping up with the increased consumer demand for the best
available smartphone technology.
According to Lacavera, the government invested in a solid
foundation but now they’re asking us to build a house without the tools.
Without the ability to acquire 10 MHz, no new entrant can build out LTE, which
means no new entrant can viably compete in the long term.
Globalive Wireless Management, a provider of
telecommunications solutions in Canada, has also voiced the opinion and
said that the government’s announcement will lead to higher prices and fewer
choices for consumers.
“Delivering on foreign ownership is only half of the
equation. We’ve spent countless months telling the government that caps will
destroy our ability to compete with the incumbents in the next auction, thereby
crippling wireless competition in Canada,” Lacavera added.