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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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    At a stroke, this announcement renders Wind and Mobilicity more appealing as prospective investments, and will surely help motivate any financial backers Videotron has been courting.

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    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-en.do?nid=865599

    The AWS-3 spectrum involved is 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz, as paired bands.

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    Spectrum auction to push mergers of small wireless players
    Globe and Mail, July 7

    The federal government [announced] 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
    ...

    Canada’s next wireless spectrum auction will favour new players: James Moore
    Financial Post, July 7

    Shares for Canada’s Big Three telecom companies took a tumble Monday after the federal government said it would favour small, new players in the next auction of prime wireless spectrum.
    ...
    “This set-aside represents over half of the AWS-3 spectrum being made available and is the largest single block every reserved for new entrants in Canada,” Moore said.
    ...
    Telecom giant Bell Canada said the government playing favourites will cost taxpayers’ money.

    “Bell has always asked for a level playing field in Canadian wireless. We welcome competition, but all competitors new or old should follow the same rules,” a Bell spokesperson said Monday.

    “Spectrum is a valuable national resource and shouldn’t be given to selected companies at a bargain. It’s a cost to taxpayers."
    ...
    Some analysts, however, are skeptical about how much the move is likely to change the telecom landscape within Canada.

    “While AWS-3 rules may well benefit new entrants, we do not expect a change in status quo in the near term,” said Canaccord Genuity analyst Dvai Ghose in a statement.
    ...

    AWS-3 wireless spectrum auction will be tailored toward new players
    CBC, July 7

    Specifically, Ottawa is going to tailor the auction in favour of new entrants in three ways:
    • More than half (30 megahertz out of 50 megahertz total) will be set aside for new entrants
    • There will be strict provisions on the transfer of spectrum between companies after the auction
    • The auction process will be simpler, shorter and more streamlined, so that new entrants have a much more visible sense of how to make a go of it.

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    Are there aws3 capable phones?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluenote73 View Post
    Are there aws3 capable phones?
    Not at the present. Band 10 (a superset of Band 4) is required for AWS-3 and because it has not been auctioned anywhere yet, much less deployed, there are no phones that support it.
    With the US auction this fall and Canada's in the spring, I would expect to see a few around March or April at the latest.

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    With Wind buyout, Mobilicity becomes the belle of the ball
    Peter Nowak, Sep 17

    Struggling wireless carrier holds the keys to the next spectrum auction for both Quebecor and Wind

    One question wireless industry watchers are likely asking themselves today is whether Mobilicity is worth more or less than it was at the start of the week.

    With the news that Wind Mobile founder Anthony Lacavera, along with a group of Canadian and U.S. investors, has secured a buyout of his company from Russia’s Vimpelcom, the attention turns squarely to fellow new entrant Mobilicity.

    If Wind and its 740,000 customers is valued at about $300 million, then surely Mobilicity and its comparatively piddly 150,000 customers is worth considerably less, right?

    Not necessarily. The struggling carrier now has one major intangible asset going for it – it’s the last remaining key to a kingdom of potential spectrum riches.

    The next auction of spectrum – the airwaves that wireless carriers need to expand and improve their networks – features a unique clause tailored specifically to Wind and Mobilicity. Up to 60 per cent of the airwaves being sold early next year are reserved for smaller companies with operating presences in the areas of license. In Ontario, Alberta and B.C., only Wind and Mobilicity qualify.

    With Wind’s recapitalization, three possible scenarios present themselves. First, if the current status quo were to continue until then, struggling Mobilicity won’t be able to bid and Wind will have a cake walk to cheap spectrum, assuming that its new investors would pony up the minimum fees required. They’d be crazy not to, given that they’d be getting an incredibly valuable resource at rock-bottom prices.

    Second, Quebecor buys Mobilicity so that it can qualify for the special terms. The Quebec-based company bought 700 MHz spectrum in Ontario, Alberta and B.C. earlier this year and has signaled that it wants to expand. It theoretically could still do so with just the spectrum it already has in hand, but again, passing up an opportunity to acquire even more airwaves for a relatively low price wouldn’t be smart.

    Third, Wind buys Mobilicity. Again, there’s no indication the newly stable company’s investors are willing to make that kind of an outlay, but it may actually be the cheaper option than doing nothing and hoping for the best. If Quebecor buys Mobilicity, Wind will have competition in the upcoming auction – and that could get expensive quickly. It was Quebecor, after all, that shut Wind out of Quebec back in the 2008 auction by effectively outbidding its desire to be a truly national carrier.

    There’s always the fourth possibility that Quebecor and Wind could work together to build the government’s hoped-for fourth carrier, but history suggests that’s unlikely. Quebecor, through its Videotron unit, bought its spectrum in 2008 entirely so that it could control its own wireless destiny and not have to depend on Rogers, its wholesale partner at the time.

    Similarly, Wind has finally become the master of its own figurative fate. Lacavera has always talked like a man who wants to sit at the head of his own table, a position he might have to give up or share once again if another larger stranger were invited in.

    That’s why the race for Mobilicity is on. Not too long ago, the floundering company looked like a lame duck that nobody wanted – or, thanks to government intervention, that nobody could have. Now, it’s the figurative belle of the ball, at least for two possible suitors.

    (per Mann Incognito)

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjw918 View Post
    With Wind buyout, Mobilicity becomes the belle of the ball
    Peter Nowak, Sep 17

    Struggling wireless carrier holds the keys to the next spectrum auction for both Quebecor and Wind

    With Wind’s recapitalization,...
    Except Wind wasn't recapitalized, the capital was merely re-organized (i.e. no new money in the bank and none committed by the new investors, so far).

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    Quote Originally Posted by robsaw View Post
    Except Wind wasn't recapitalized, the capital was merely re-organized (i.e. no new money in the bank and none committed by the new investors, so far).
    Shouldn't be an issue as I said earlier


    Quote Originally Posted by pjw918 View Post
    With Wind buyout, Mobilicity becomes the belle of the ball
    Peter Nowak, Sep 17

    Struggling wireless carrier holds the keys to the next spectrum auction for both Quebecor and Wind

    One question wireless industry watchers are likely asking themselves today is whether Mobilicity is worth more or less than it was at the start of the week.

    With the news that Wind Mobile founder Anthony Lacavera, along with a group of Canadian and U.S. investors, has secured a buyout of his company from Russia’s Vimpelcom, the attention turns squarely to fellow new entrant Mobilicity.

    If Wind and its 740,000 customers is valued at about $300 million, then surely Mobilicity and its comparatively piddly 150,000 customers is worth considerably less, right?

    Not necessarily. The struggling carrier now has one major intangible asset going for it – it’s the last remaining key to a kingdom of potential spectrum riches.

    The next auction of spectrum – the airwaves that wireless carriers need to expand and improve their networks – features a unique clause tailored specifically to Wind and Mobilicity. Up to 60 per cent of the airwaves being sold early next year are reserved for smaller companies with operating presences in the areas of license. In Ontario, Alberta and B.C., only Wind and Mobilicity qualify.

    With Wind’s recapitalization, three possible scenarios present themselves. First, if the current status quo were to continue until then, struggling Mobilicity won’t be able to bid and Wind will have a cake walk to cheap spectrum, assuming that its new investors would pony up the minimum fees required. They’d be crazy not to, given that they’d be getting an incredibly valuable resource at rock-bottom prices.

    Second, Quebecor buys Mobilicity so that it can qualify for the special terms. The Quebec-based company bought 700 MHz spectrum in Ontario, Alberta and B.C. earlier this year and has signaled that it wants to expand. It theoretically could still do so with just the spectrum it already has in hand, but again, passing up an opportunity to acquire even more airwaves for a relatively low price wouldn’t be smart.

    Third, Wind buys Mobilicity. Again, there’s no indication the newly stable company’s investors are willing to make that kind of an outlay, but it may actually be the cheaper option than doing nothing and hoping for the best. If Quebecor buys Mobilicity, Wind will have competition in the upcoming auction – and that could get expensive quickly. It was Quebecor, after all, that shut Wind out of Quebec back in the 2008 auction by effectively outbidding its desire to be a truly national carrier.

    There’s always the fourth possibility that Quebecor and Wind could work together to build the government’s hoped-for fourth carrier, but history suggests that’s unlikely. Quebecor, through its Videotron unit, bought its spectrum in 2008 entirely so that it could control its own wireless destiny and not have to depend on Rogers, its wholesale partner at the time.

    Similarly, Wind has finally become the master of its own figurative fate. Lacavera has always talked like a man who wants to sit at the head of his own table, a position he might have to give up or share once again if another larger stranger were invited in.

    That’s why the race for Mobilicity is on. Not too long ago, the floundering company looked like a lame duck that nobody wanted – or, thanks to government intervention, that nobody could have. Now, it’s the figurative belle of the ball, at least for two possible suitors.
    There is no need to build at all. An alliance of Wind + VT + Mob can easily be consolidated as the 4th carrier. The only problem is in deciding on the share structure..With such a set up the networks of the Mob + Wnd can complement each other while mothballing towers that are absolutely redundant. Mobiciity cannot be left alone as it can stand in the way of the formation of the 4th carrier.
    Additional finance should not be an issue now that the proposed 4 th carrier has huge potential of grabbing 10% of the cell market further to the push from the FED.
    Another odd situation here is that of VT which is so far co-opted by Rogers as a media buddy. But if Quebecor (its parents) is gearing for a huge windfall, it can spin off VT. 4 months ago Quebecor had an ad teasing Rogers and Bell . Immediately that was taken down and I did not even have chance to save what exactly was there. Let us see if Brian Mulroney (the new Board chairman) is into American style of aggressive profits.
    Let me list the scenarios:
    1) VT alone in rest of the country - no chance; costly for VT in building
    2) VT + Wind - no chance as Mobiility will drag on. The costs of keeping afloat at $1 mil is nothing for its creditors to hold on almost forever
    3) VT + Wind + Mob - workable. But time consuming to decide on share structure of each

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    Dtong, are you referring to the ad about unlimited data. The one where it had a dog, a green bug or lizard and supposedly a Bell rep. Videotron mocked Fido, Telus and Bell for not offering a unlimited cell plan. Don't know if you are referring to another ad. This one was only on the internet. But Videotron does many ads like that in print and on TV mocking Bell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue17 View Post
    Dtong, are you referring to the ad about unlimited data. The one where it had a dog, a green bug or lizard and supposedly a Bell rep. Videotron mocked Fido, Telus and Bell for not offering a unlimited cell plan. Don't know if you are referring to another ad. This one was only on the internet. But Videotron does many ads like that in print and on TV mocking Bell.
    It was on Rogers and Bell. It was rare and within a couple of days it was taken out which is rare for ad like that.
    Rogers is supposed to be VT's media buddy - an ally even with a 10 yrs LTE co-operation plan.
    Whether VT goes for that trophy in the air (4th carrier) is something else. If VT is spun off, ally or no ally does not matter.
    No one in this field think in terms of 10 years. 10 months is already a century

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    I didn't see that ad.

    The one I was was just online and Videotron was taking a jab at Fido using a dog and name that resembled Fido, At Telus with a green animal and at Bell.

    Was really surprised to see this ad, as Rogers and Videotron have a 20 year agreement.

    What do you mean by a VT spin off?

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    So especially now, VT and WIND won't be joining forces. If they were going to, VT would have been the ones buying WIND. Also, while WIND is in slightly better position than before, it is still massively lacking any of the financial wherewithal to do anything other than slowly expand and improve. This is even more exacerbated by not having any low-band spectrum. WIND will remain relegated to a moderately successful urban carrier, similar to what Cricket and MetroPCS were in the US before being bought-out.

    I stand by my earlier predictions that VT and Eastlink will be the backbone of the "4th national carrier", if there is to actually a 4th carrier. Mobilicity now has to be purchased by VT/Eastlink to be able to bid for the reserved AWS-3. Shaw's spectrum will not be sold to Rogers, so that will still be on the market and in a perfect position for VT/Eastlink to pick it up on the cheap, creating the backbone of HSPA+ network in western Canada, and/or a potentially lethal LTE network to supplement the MBS(700MHz) that VT holds. There will also likely be a third partner, whether it is a financial backer, or another cableco interested in have a foot in the pool of wireless.

    My main point of intrigue is what will happen in TBay, MB, and SK as there are already the regional 4th carriers. Will there be a regional carrier partnership, or will there be an attempt to overlay with another network?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. J View Post
    I stand by my earlier predictions that VT and Eastlink will be the backbone of the "4th national carrier", if there is to actually a 4th carrier. Mobilicity now has to be purchased by VT/Eastlink to be able to bid for the reserved AWS-3. Shaw's spectrum will not be sold to Rogers, so that will still be on the market and in a perfect position for VT/Eastlink to pick it up on the cheap, creating the backbone of HSPA+ network in western Canada, and/or a potentially lethal LTE network to supplement the MBS(700MHz) that VT holds. There will also likely be a third partner, whether it is a financial backer, or another cableco interested in have a foot in the pool of wireless.
    I beg to disagree.
    The biggest puzzle is whether VT is going to be the 4 th carrier at all. Either a big yes or a big no.
    Rogers, supposedly VT's media buddy, has been appeasing VT all along with all kind of perks (so-called 10 yr LTE joint development consent whatever it means) to prevent it from forming the 4th carrier.
    If VT remains a loyal partner to Rogers (like Shaw) it will never compete head to head with the latter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue17 View Post
    I didn't see that ad.

    The one I was was just online and Videotron was taking a jab at Fido using a dog and name that resembled Fido, At Telus with a green animal and at Bell.

    Was really surprised to see this ad, as Rogers and Videotron have a 20 year agreement.

    What do you mean by a VT spin off?
    Basically the spun off VT (away from Quebecor) which together with Wind + Mob will immediately form the 4th carrier . One should note that they are all now AWS compatible in every sense. That is a hugely profitable move for the parents once when taking off (a big if )
    The looser (of % users Canada wide) of course will be R B T.

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