More choice, better coverage and more affordable prices for wireless consumers
April 10, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario
Whether it is to pay their bills, get directions on the road or video chat with family and friends, Canadians want better wireless connection at more affordable prices. These wireless services are delivered through the air via radio frequency spectrum-a valuable public resource. The Government of Canada is making more spectrum available to support the increasing demand for mobile connectivity in a manner that increases competition, improves coverage and lowers prices for all Canadians.
Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced that Canadian consumers will benefit from greater competition, more choice and better prices as a result of the 600 MHz spectrum auction that concluded on April 4.
In total, 104 licences were awarded to nine Canadian companies, including 40 licences to regional providers, covering the entire country. Regional providers more than doubled their share of low-band spectrum, strengthening their ability to offer competitive services to all Canadians. In addition to improving competition, the results of this auction will improve our country’s robust networks and support the deployment of current and next-generation technologies.
“We know that Canadians want more choice, lower prices and better service. Through this process, we have strengthened wireless competition, which will drive prices down and improve coverage. It is clear that the big winners in this auction will be Canadians in both urban and rural areas.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
600 MHz spectrum carries signals over long distances and penetrates structures better than higher-frequency bands, making it well-suited to deliver services in both urban and rural settings.
The auction started March 12, 2019, with 12 Canadian bidders qualified to participate.
70 MHz of spectrum divided in blocks of 10 MHz was available in each service area, including 30 MHz set aside for regional providers in each area.
The 600 MHz auction raised $3.47 billion, which will be remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, administered by the Receiver General of Canada.
As with the previous 700 MHz and 2500 MHz spectrum auctions, the Government of Canada successfully employed a comprehensive multistep bidding process that included rigorous security protocols to ensure the integrity of the auction.