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Thread: Ottawa to auction prime spectrum to small wireless carriers.

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    Ottawa to auction prime spectrum to small wireless carriers.


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    From the article:
    The auction of “AWS-3 spectrum” is planned to take place before an already-scheduled offering of 2,500 MHz frequencies next April, 2015. ... In this new AWS-3 auction, the set-aside spectrum will be restricted for purchase by small players that are already operating in the region where they seek to acquire more frequencies.
    Assuming that Canada is following the same spectrum classification as the FCC, AWS-3 is 2155 – 2175 MHz. That'd be worse than the 700 Mhz spectrum that I think Videotron already holds in the Wind / Mobi market areas so I'm not sure that this will be as much of a consolidation incentive as proposed.

    Could Videotron put up a tiny token coverage area in AB/BC/ON to gain access to this spectrum without merger?

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    Err... elsewhere I see a mention of AWS-3 as including spectrum in the ranges: 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz

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    Seems like nothing more than an elaborate ploy to prevent Mobilicity from completely failing to me. OK, maybe not specifically Mobilicity but with Mobilicity dying, WIND shaky, Public now part of an incumbent, and Videotron led by someone with separatist leanings, the government's little experiment into "creating" competition is pretty much an embarrassment. I'm not much of a conspiratorist but I'm starting to wonder how much of this plan Mobilicity and the courts knew about when applying for the last 2 protection extensions. I'm probably completely wrong but it seems awfully suspicious to me.

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    Full Link and article:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/repor...board/follows/

    The federal government will announce Monday that it is offering coveted chunks of public airwaves to Canada’s wireless industry ahead of schedule and in a manner designed to force smaller players to merge and form a more formidable competitor to incumbents such as Bell, Rogers and Telus.

    In an unexpected move, Ottawa plans to auction prime spectrum in a way that would motivate an investor to buy and combine smaller struggling players such as Mobilicity and Wind Mobile, The Globe and Mail has learned.

    With a federal election on the horizon, the move represents a big step in the Conservatives’ high-profile political pledge to foster better service and lower prices through competition. It also comes against a backdrop of simmering tensions with the Big Three carriers, who have sometimes chafed at Ottawa’s ongoing quest for fourth player in all markets, cautioning it would be unsustainable or that customers could be better served if existing firms could achieve greater critical mass.

    The Conservatives have been very protective of new entrants such as Mobilicity, refusing to allow the Big Three telecom players to swallow them up, because Ottawa remains convinced the market can support more competitors.

    The auction of “AWS-3 spectrum” is planned to take place before an already-scheduled offering of 2,500 MHz frequencies next April, 2015.

    The spectrum is even more valuable than the 2,500 MHz variety because it functions well in both urban and rural areas and signals penetrate buildings better.

    Spectrum auctions normally set aside some airwaves for only new or smaller players‎ to buy – as a means of increasing competition in the Canadian wireless marketplace. This spectrum can consequently be bought more cheaply than the rest of the auction because fewer players can bid for it.

    In this new AWS-3 auction, the set-aside spectrum will be restricted for purchase by small players that are already operating in the region where they seek to acquire more frequencies.

    This will make it very valuable for whoever owns Wind Mobile and Mobilicity at the time of the auction because these small carriers are already operating in key urban and suburban markets across Canada.

    In order to acquire this valuable AWS-3 spectrum at a bargain price in key markets across Canada, an investor would need to go through entities such as Wind or Mobilicity.

    Senior government officials said they believe they have to act soon to encourage investors to consolidate small carriers. Mobilicity is under court protection from creditors as it tries to restructure.

    "It is an ideal time to inject additional spectrum into the marketplace in order to incent new wireless investors and to improve the conditions for the purchase of new entrants,” a government official said.

    “We recognize that, in order to continue making progress on this path, companies need clarity on how and when wireless spectrum will be allocated in the future.”

    The Tories forced Telus to cease efforts to take over Mobilicity this spring by threatening to cut the Vancouver-based company out of the 2,500 MHz auction in 2015. After Ottawa’s warning in April, Telus notified the federal government in May that it was dropping its $350-million bid for Mobilicity.

    The federal government’s end game is to create a situation where struggling smaller players Wind Mobile and Mobilicity merge and the spectrum they hold gets rolled along with other spectrum into a vehicle that’s sufficiently well-capitalized to succeed in the market.

    Quebecor’s Videotron has signaled it may be willing to become Ottawa’s long-sought fourth wireless player and this past winter spent $233-million buying valuable spectrum in Canada’s four most populous provinces.

    But Quebecor has also strongly hinted it wants more help from Ottawa in order to make it more attractive to roll out wireless service across the country.

    Canada has four substantial wireless players in a number of the country’s regional markets but not, most notably, in much of populous Ontario.

    Quebecor’s Videotron purchased valuable spectrum to deploy service in markets across Canada this past winter but has so far held off launching service in new regions.

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    Updated link and article:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/repor...board/follows/

    The Canadian government is moving again to spur competition in a wireless industry dominated by three players, aiming to push smaller companies to merge and create more forceful rivals.

    Industry Minister James Moore announced Monday his government will auction prime AWS-3 spectrum, but in a way that would motivate an investor to buy and combine smaller, struggling firms such as Mobilicity and Wind Mobile.

    The auction will set aside a large 30 MHz block of the AWS-3 spectrum on offer in each re‎gion of the country for bidding only by small players that are currently operating in that region.

    The auction date is not set but will take place with results available before an already scheduled sell of of separate 2,500 MHz spectrum in April 2015.

    The government is promising a "simpler, shorter" auction process as well.

    "Today’s announcement will help new entrants acquire valuable new spectrum to help expand their networks and deliver fast, reliable service to Canadians," Mr. Moore said in a statement.

    He said consultations on the licensing of this spectrum would begin this summer.

    With a federal election on the horizon, the move represents a big step in the Conservatives’ high-profile political pledge to foster better service and lower prices through competition.

    It also comes against a backdrop of simmering tensions with the Big Three carriers, which have chafed at Ottawa’s ongoing quest for fourth player in all markets, saying it would be unsustainable and that customers could be better served if existing firms could achieve greater critical mass.

    ‎The Conservatives have been very protective of new entrants such as Mobilicity, refusing to allow the Big Three telecom players to swallow them up, because Ottawa remains convinced the market can support more competitors.

    AWS-3 spectrum is even more valuable than the 2,500 MHZ variety because it functions well in both urban and rural areas and signals penetrate buildings better.‎ It's ideal for delivering service on smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices.

    Spectrum auctions normally set aside some airwaves for only new or smaller players‎ to buy – as a means of increasing competition in the Canadian wireless marketplace. This spectrum can consequently be bought more cheaply than the rest of the auction because less players can bid for it.

    In this new AWS-3 auction, the set-aside spectrum ‎will be restricted for purchase by small players that are already operating in the region where they seek to acquire more frequencies.

    This will make it very valuable for whomever owns Wind Mobile and Mobilicity at the time of the auction because these small carriers are already operating in key urban and suburban markets across Canada.

    Wireless carriers with less than 10 percent national and 20 percent provincial/territorial wireless subscriber market share will be eligible to bid on the set-aside in licence areas where they are providing services to Canadians.

    ‎In order to acquire this valuable AWS-3 spectrum at a bargain price in key markets across Canada, an investor would need to go through entities like Wind or Mobilicity.

    Senior government officials said they believe they have to act soon to encourage investors to consolidate small carriers. Mobilicity is under court protection from creditors as it tries to restructure.

    ‎"It is an ideal time to inject additional spectrum into the marketplace in order to incent new wireless investors and to improve the conditions for the purchase of new entrants,” a government official told The Globe and Mail.

    The Tories forced Telus to cease ‎efforts to take over Mobilicity this spring by threatening to cut the Vancouver-based company out of the 2,500 MHZ auction in 2015. After Ottawa’s warning in April, Telus notified the federal government in May that it was dropping its $350-million bid for Mobilicity.

    The federal government’s end game is to create a situation where struggling smaller players Wind Mobile and Mobilicity merge and the spectrum they hold gets rolled along with other spectrum into a vehicle that’s sufficiently well-capitalized to succeed in the market.

    Quebecor’s Videotron has signaled it may be willing to become Ottawa’s long-sought fourth wireless player and this last winter spent $233-million buying valuable spectrum in Canada’s four most populous provinces.

    But Quebecor has also strongly hinted it wants more help from Ottawa in order to make it more attractive to roll out wireless service across the country.

    Canada has four substantial wireless players in a number of the country’s regional markets but not, most notably, in much of populous Ontario.

    Quebecor’s Videotron purchased valuable spectrum to deploy service in markets across Canada this past winter but has so far held off launching service in new regions.

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    Yay?

    That's going to show 'em who's boss now.... right?

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    If wind has no backers n is a right off to vimplecom how are they going to even bid on this spectrum as well as mobilicity that is bankrupt.. Only "small" player who can actually bid would be videotron right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisidan View Post
    If wind has no backers n is a right off to vimplecom how are they going to even bid on this spectrum as well as mobilicity that is bankrupt.. Only "small" player who can actually bid would be videotron right?
    I think, and we really won't know until the full details are released, that the idea is to encourage smaller investors to get involved in the auction supporting both WIND and Mobilicity and then move to have both companies fully merge. It seems a pretty desperate plan to me, nothing more than a face saving scheme that's about as likely to work as the rest of this inept government's ideas.

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    Ya but if I was a investor I wouldn't bother with Canada after all the garbage the government has done to much of a risk with little return. Unfortunately us the consumer is going to pay for all this garbage I really don't see anything changing in the near future but let's hope I'm wrong!

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    IC detail on AWS-3

    Backgrounder: AWS-3 Spectrum Auction
    Industry Canada, July 7

    To further encourage competition and make more spectrum available for operating new entrants, the Government will set aside one 30 MHz block of AWS-3 spectrum for these providers in each region of the country. Wireless carriers with less than 10 percent national and 20 percent provincial/territorial wireless subscriber market share will be eligible to bid on the set-aside in licence areas where they are providing services to Canadians. This auction will take place before the 2500 MHz auction, which is scheduled to start in April 2015.

    AWS-3 spectrum was identified in the Industry Canada 2013 Commercial Mobile Spectrum Outlook as a future source of additional commercial mobile spectrum with a projected licensing date as early as 2015. The AWS-3 spectrum band is adjacent to the AWS spectrum auctioned in 2008 and is well-suited for delivering next-generation commercial mobile services, including those using Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology. Industry Canada is anticipating its proximity to the AWS band will facilitate expedited network deployment and availability of consumer handsets.

    To develop an auction and licensing framework for the AWS-3 spectrum band, the Government is holding a public consultation this summer. Feedback is being sought on proposed details, including:
    • Whether licences for AWS-3 should include deployment requirements in both the short term (for example, five years after the licences are issued) and the long term (ten years after); and
    • Whether a simplified and accelerated auction process, using a sealed-bid format, would be the best approach to encourage participation.

    http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?nid=865599
    --


    Commercial Mobile Spectrum Outlook
    Industry Canada, March 2013

    4.2 Potential Bands Under Consideration for Commercial Mobile Services
    4.2.2 Advanced Wireless Services 3 (AWS-3)

    Bands

    1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz

    In the United States, originally it was only the band 2155-2175 MHz which was referred to as AWS‑3. Subsequently, as part of the tendency to aggregate frequencies in larger blocks of spectrum, the 2175-2180 MHz block (previously part of the AWS-2) was also added to this band. The wireless industry in both Canada and the United States has made proposals — supported by Industry Canada — to pair the 2155-2180 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz frequency bands. These bands are referred to in this document as AWS-3.

    The advantage of pairing these two frequency bands is that they could form part of the AWS ecosystem, as an extension to the original AWS band (AWS-1).

    Current Use in Canada


    In 2007, Industry Canada indicated that the designation of the band 1755-1780 MHz for AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) may be the subject of a future public consultation. At that time, the Department indicated that it was not ready to designate or license the bands 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz until potential service applications, band pairing and technology clearly emerged. Currently, the bands 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz are being used for low-capacity fixed point-to-point microwave links, which are mostly legacy systems. These bands have seen little demand for new fixed systems due to the expectation that these frequencies will be repurposed for mobile services.

    Technical Considerations

    The wireless industry in North America has repeatedly requested that this band be identified for mobile broadband commercial systems since it is an extension to the original AWS bands. Implementing this band in commercial equipment would require minimal changes from the existing hardware configuration and would contribute to a more harmonized global wireless ecosystem.

    International Considerations


    The bands 1710-2025 MHz/2110-2200 MHz (encompassing PCS, AWS-1, AWS-2, AWS-3 and MSS/AWS-4 bands) are identified for IMT systems by the ITU. However, two main band plan arrangements (leading to separate equipment ecosystems) are in use for PCS and AWS — one is used in North America, and the other is used in Europe, Japan and other countries.

    The band 1755-1780 MHz is currently held by the United States Government and is used for a variety of applications. In March 2012, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released a study that indicated the majority of their users from the 1755-1780 MHz band could be relocated in five years, but some systems would need to remain in the band for at least another five years. Recent proposals in the United States suggest that a regulatory framework, where mobile commercial systems would share the band with existing government users, is being considered. Pilot projects to evaluate the feasibility of sharing solutions have been initiated. One aspect that may slow down progress on repurposing this band in the United States is that the NTIA is considering the entire 1755-1850 MHz range (rather than just the 1780-1850 MHz range) in their assessment of future mobile broadband requirements.

    In February 2012, the United States Congress passed Bill H.R. 3630, which stipulated that the FCC will auction the band 2155‑2180 MHz by 2015, but remained silent on the possibility of pairing with the band 1755‑1780 MHz.

    Conclusion

    The wireless industry in both Canada and the United States has indicated that a paired identification of the two bands 1755‑1780 MHz and 2155‑2180 MHz would be very valuable in the delivery of mobile broadband services to consumers. Given that these bands are part of the North American wireless ecosystem, a prudent approach is to wait for the usage of this spectrum to be clarified in the United States. At this point, these two frequency bands have not yet been linked into a paired structure due to the United States Government’s use of the 1755‑1780 MHz range.

    A solution based on a sharing framework between the government and the commercial industry in the United States would lead to equipment availability in this band, which would be beneficial for Canada. The amount of spectrum made available by the repurposing of the AWS‑3 bands would then be 50 MHz.

    It is anticipated that the AWS-3 bands will be available for licensing as early as 2015. In 2013, Industry Canada plans to start a dialogue about the band plan with the wireless industry and with other countries that are planning to implement mobile services in the AWS band. As mentioned earlier, Industry Canada has contacted the United States Government (both the FCC and the NTIA) to indicate a strong preference for the band pair 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz.


    Name:  AWS Band Chart.gif
Views: 877
Size:  13.1 KB

    http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst...9446.html#a4.2
    Last edited by pjw918; 07-07-2014 at 01:18 PM.

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    Industry Canada has contacted the United States Government (both the FCC and the NTIA) to indicate a strong preference for the band pair 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz.
    The AWS-3 auction in the US is scheduled for Nov. 13 this fall, and will be for the paired spectrum bands (1755-1780/2155-2180 MHz licenses).

    The AWS-3 spectrum auction is requiring some relocation of government spectrum users, which [FCC's] Wheeler has described previously as an "unnatural act" for those agencies. In his testimony, he again thanked DOJ, DOD and the White House for being willing to engage in that act, as well as the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, which oversees government spectrum and has been charged by the White House with finding ways to free up more government spectrum, just as the FCC is doing on the commercial side.

    http://www.broadcastingcable.com/new...e-aws-3/131273
    Last edited by pjw918; 07-07-2014 at 02:03 PM. Reason: US auction

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    Hopefully this auction happens before the year is out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TigerMSTR View Post
    Hopefully this auction happens before the year is out.
    They're looking at April, 2015.

    Sent from my Z30 using HowardForums

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