WorldWide tech & Science. Francisco De Jesús.
Canada's newly-appointed industry minister, Christian Paradis , said that 700MHz and 2.5GHz spectrum auctions, offering frequencies suitable for LTE deployment, could happen later this year – but he is already under pressure not to implement rules which will limit how much spectrum the large incumbent operators can buy.
The "auction design and conditions of license will begin later this year," said Paradis at the Canadian Telecom Summit, his first public comments since his appointment last month. According to a Dow Jones Newswires report, he also hinted that the Canadian government continues to examine possible changes to rules that currently restrict foreign investment in Canadian telecom companies. Both issues are a "priority," he said.
Amid concerns that the government may be seeking to stimulate competition in the sector via the new rules, mobile market-leader Rogers Communication has already moved to defend the status quo. "The auction decides - instead of spending money on fancy lobbyists you put your money where your mouth is," Ken Engelhart, head of regulatory affairs at Rogers, told Reuters on the sidelines of the conference.
"This idea that we are using it spectrum for anti-competitive purposes is malarkey. We are using all of the spectrum we've got, all of our supplies are being used for our current LTE build." Canada’s last major spectrum auctions in 2008 ring-fenced some airwaves for new entrants, which led to newcomers Globalive's Wind Mobile, Mobilicity and Public Mobile entering the market.