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Canadian carriers react to 3500MHz spectrum public sale outcomes

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Following the discharge of the 3500MHz spectrum public sale outcomes late Thursday, Canadian carriers issued statements reacting to the outcomes.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) stated that “competitive bidding” resulted public sale revenues totalling $8.91 billion. Rogers, Bell, Telus and Vidéotron have been the largest bidders, paying over $8 billion mixed. ISED additionally stated the public sale was good for small and regional suppliers, who claimed 757 of the 1,495 licenses offered through the public sale.

3500MHz spectrum is broadly thought of essential for 5G networks in Canada. 3500MHz sits inside what’s referred to as mid-band or ‘Sub-6’ 5G. Networks utilizing 3500MHz spectrum ought to supply sooner speeds and decrease latency than 4G networks, however gained’t carry out fairly in addition to mmWave 5G. That stated, mmWave can’t journey almost so far as Sub-6 5G, making mid-band spectrum essential for masking locations exterior of main city centres.

Rogers

Toronto-based nation provider Rogers launched a press release concerning the public sale, noting it invested over $3.3 billion in 3500MHz spectrum that might cowl 99.4 % of the Canadian inhabitants. The provider gained spectrum holdings in 169 of 172 ISED Tier 4 areas throughout Canada, which incorporates key areas, all city centres and the vast majority of rural areas.

“This investment in 5G spectrum will build on our existing 5G assets and enable us to deliver the world-class connectivity Canada needs to increase productivity, fuel innovation, create jobs, and compete in a global economy for decades to come,” stated president and CEO Joe Natale within the launch.

“We went into this auction with a clear plan and acquired the spectrum we need to continue driving the largest and most reliable 5G network in Canada and to deliver long-term value for our customers, shareholders and Canada.”

You can learn extra from Rogers right here.

Bell

Montreal-based nationwide provider Bell stated it acquired 271 licenses for 3500MHz spectrum within the public sale for $2.07 billion. Further, Bell stated it acquired 30 % of the full 3500MHz spectrum obtainable to nationwide wi-fi carriers at public sale, bringing the provider’s whole holdings of the spectrum to 37 % obtainable to nationwide carriers. The acquired spectrum covers main and secondary city markets throughout the nation.

“Underscoring the Bell team’s goal to advance how Canadians connect with each other and the world, acquiring this significant additional 3500 MHz spectrum will drive Bell’s ongoing leadership in 5G, a critical component in our multibillion-dollar program to accelerate investment in Canada’s next-generation network infrastructure and services,” stated BCE president and CEO Mirko Bibic.

Bell says its present 5G community is obtainable to roughly 35 % of the nationwide inhabitants, and the provider expects to succeed in 70 % by the tip of 2021.

You can learn extra from Bell right here.

Telus

Vancouver-based nationwide provider Telus detailed its spectrum acquisitions in a press release, noting it gained 3500MHz spectrum licenses in B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec for $1.95 billion. Further, Telus famous that when mixed with spectrum it acquired privately in January of this yr, the provider now holds licenses to a mean of 25MHz of the 3500MHz spectrum band nationally and 40MHz of the band in its key markets.

“Telus is proud of our storied history of building and operating the world’s best networks, enabled by our talented engineers and technology innovators, complemented by our award winning service that reflects our team’s passion for putting customers first,” stated CEO and president Darren Entwistle.

“Indeed, by securing spectrum critical to bring transformational, next-generation, 5G connectivity to Canadians, Telus is able to continue to offer the globally leading network speed, coverage and reliability our fellow citizens need to realise improved outcomes in our digital world.”

Telus additionally took the chance to criticize the excessive value of spectrum in Canada, noting that Canadian nationwide carriers paid a fee of $3.28 per MHz-pop, a measurement of the variety of megahertz of spectrum bandwidth multiplied by the inhabitants inside a specified service space. The provider says the worth was over 2.8 occasions as a lot as U.S. carriers, which paid on common $1.19 per MHz-pop within the FCC’s most up-to-date 5G spectrum public sale.

“Canada’s position as a global leader in broadband networks is vulnerable to burdensome regulations governing access to spectrum. Going forward, if we are to truly benefit all Canadians, accelerate the government’s innovation and affordability agendas, and transition successfully into a 5G digital world, we need responsible, forward looking and predictable regulatory policy that ensures affordable, fair and expeditious access to this national asset so we can continue building our world-leading networks,” Entwistle stated.

You can learn extra from Telus right here.

Vidéotron

Regional provider Vidéotron’s mother or father firm, Quebecor, launched a press release detailing the $830 million acquisition of 294 blocks of 3500MHz spectrum. Interestingly, over half the funding is concentrated in southern and jap Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and B.C., not in Quebec the place Vidéotron primarily operates. Quebecor stated the funding positions the provider to “realize its ambition of boosting healthy competition in telecom beyond [Quebec].”

“This major investment paves the way for large-scale projects in Québec and other Canadian provinces in the coming years. Our success in Québec has served Quebecers well. Today, we are taking another step towards bringing leading-edge technology and healthy competition to more Canadian consumers,” stated Quebecor president and CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau.

After the public sale outcomes launched, there have been some questions round whether or not Vidéotron would use the spectrum or maintain it to promote at a revenue later. However, Quebecor’s assertion signifies it intends to make use of the spectrum, noting the corporate “plans to roll out its mobile telephone service in some urban and rural areas in the rest of Canada.”

Quebecor’s assertion additionally referenced the corporate’s curiosity in buying Shaw’s wi-fi property, ought to they be offered as a part of the Rogers acquisition, linking to a truth sheet about plans to develop into the 4th telecom participant in Canada.

“We are now counting on the government to create a favourable environment to foster and maintain healthy competition. We are confident that we are the right player, the one with a real ability to break the oligopoly and put consumers across Canada back in the driver’s seat,” stated Péladeau.

You can learn extra from Quebecor right here.

Cogeco

Cogeco detailed its $295 million funding to amass 38 spectrum licenses within the 3500MHz band public sale, noting that $205 million went in the direction of 30MHz of spectrum within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The area represents 33 % of Cogeco’s wireline broadband footprint in Ontario.

Further, with the corporate’s different spectrum holdings, Cogeco now holds spectrum masking 91 % of its Canadian broadband footprint, representing 3.6 million Canadians, a lot of which dwell in rural or underserved areas.

“These spectrum investments, together with the recent CRTC regulatory decision on wireless services and our robust and growing regional broadband network, position Cogeco to further develop plans to enter the mobile wireless services market in a financially disciplined way in all of our core markets in Canada,” stated president and CEO Philippe Jetté.

“We remain deeply interested in offering more choice to consumers for their mobile services. As we prepare our next steps, the implementation of reasonable terms and conditions by the CRTC under the new regulatory framework for wireless services, as well as securing satisfactory wholesale rates for access to incumbent wireless networks, will be critical.”

You can learn extra from Cogeco right here.

Xplornet

Xplornet acquired 99 licenses for $244 million, which the corporate says is its largest spectrum funding up to now. In a launch, Xplornet stated it plans to “unlock the potential of 5G technology across rural Canada with the roll out of its 5G wireless service starting in fall 2021.”

Xplornet says that 5G know-how will enable it to extend community capability for rural Canadians by new spectrum and cell web site densification.

“Acquiring additional licensed mid-band spectrum is a critical component in Xplornet’s 5G broadband strategy to advance the availability of faster and more reliable broadband services to rural Canadians,” stated Allison Lenehan, CEO and president of Xplornet.

“We have made significant investments in our state-of the-art fibre and wireless broadband network in recent years and we are excited to put this 3500 MHz spectrum to work in the very near future for our customers.”

You can learn extra from Xplornet right here.

The spectrum public sale was initially delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It ran from June fifteenth till July twenty third.

Neither Shaw nor TekSavvy participated within the public sale. Shaw determined to not take part within the public sale because of the potential Rogers acquisition. TekSavvy, alternatively, dropped out of the public sale following the CRTC’s wholesale charges resolution.

TekSavvy’s vp referred to as the CRTC resolution a “tombstone on the grave of telecom competition” and stated the corporate scrapped plans to supply cellular providers due to it.

What do you think?

Written by Gideon

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