Canada has completed its auction of the 3.5 GHz band, opening up new spectrum for 5G services. The bidding raised in total $7.16 billion, with Bell, Rogers and Telus spending the most.
Vidéotron, owned by Quebecor Inc spent C$830 million to expand its geographic footprint in Canada, buying licenses not just in its native Quebec but also in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.
The move indicates that Quebecor plans to become a service provider in those areas, and that the areas where the company did not bid – Saskatchewan and Atlantic Canada – both have preexisting strong fourth competitors to the big three.
Vidéotron said in a statement that the investment would help the company to “realize its ambition of boosting healthy competition in telecom beyond the borders of Québec.”
Bell, Rogers and Telus said their investments will help to provide reliable 5G services.
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. read more
Out of 1,504 available licenses, 1,495 were awarded to 15 Canadian companies, including 757 licenses to small and regional providers, Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in a statement on Thursday.
The results would boost competition, he added, a reference to Ottawa’s push to open up a market dominated by BCE Inc (BCE.TO), Telus Corp (T.TO) and Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO), known as the big three.