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Thread: Federal government to limit large carriers in 600 Mhz wireless spectrum auction

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    Federal government to limit large carriers in 600 Mhz wireless spectrum auction

    The federal government hopes to tackle high wireless prices and spur competition by barring the country’s large national carriers from bidding on more than 40 per cent of the licences in an upcoming auction of valuable airwaves.

    The department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) published the final rules on Wednesday for a public auction of 600-megahertz spectrum – the airwaves used to carry cellular signals – and said it will be held in March, 2019.

    In line with a proposed framework ISED released last summer, the auction rules will not permit Rogers Communications Inc., BCE Inc. or Telus Corp. to bid on 43 per cent of the available spectrum. Airwaves in the 600-MHz frequency are prized because they can travel long distances and offer good penetration into buildings.

    Regional players that have been in business less than a decade, such as Quebec-based Videotron Ltd.’s wireless division and Shaw Communications Inc.’s Freedom Mobile (which operates in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario and was formerly called Wind Mobile), do not own much low-band spectrum and could use such airwaves to improve coverage on their networks.

    Federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said imposing a set-aside to help such players will lead to more competition, lower prices and better service.

    “The fact that we have an auction that will set aside 43 per cent of the spectrum demonstrates our commitment to competition, which will provide more options to consumers which ultimately means better price points,” he said in an interview Wednesday evening.

    The final auction rules will allow only regional wireless players or “potential new entrants” to bid on the set-aside airwaves, according to the statement. A spokesman for the minister said that will include those already offering other telecom services, such as internet.

    This suggests that established telecom players without wireless operations, such as cable company Cogeco Communications Inc., could also take advantage of the set aside and purchase spectrum.

    The minister’s comments on the auction come less than a week after Canada’s telecom regulator said it would not introduce new rules to help encourage a business model popular in the United States and Europe to grow here. Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) do not buy spectrum or build their own networks, but instead pay wholesale rates to use other carriers’ networks and offer discount services to their customers.

    The decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) came as a surprise to those who expected it to take steps to increase competition by allowing MVNOs that use WiFi as their primary means of connecting customers to access roaming services at regulated rates. Many expected the regulator would move on that front because Mr. Bains ordered the CRTC last June to review the possibility of “WiFi-first” options.

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    No big surprise... Those rules resemble the AWS-3 auction...

    Sent from my LG-H933 using HoFo mobile app
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    need to buy another new phone just for the band, hope its the last time

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    Quote Originally Posted by kocoman View Post
    need to buy another new phone just for the band, hope its the last time
    600mhz is in operation in the US. Anything that carries band 71 will do it...
    (Like the LG V30 model 932)

    As spectrum becomes available, you're gonna need to get new hardware, especially when the carrier you're using is starving for it...

    Sent from my LG-H933 using HoFo mobile app
    Last edited by sirtate; 03-29-2018 at 06:11 PM.

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    600 MHz Spectrum Auction
    Set-aside is 30MHz, remaining 40MHz open to all bidders.

    Technical, Policy and Licensing Framework for the 600 MHz Band

    2. Policy Objectives

    3. Band Plan
    The 600 MHz band is designated for flexible use for commercial mobile, fixed, and broadcasting services. The band plan includes seven paired blocks of 5+5 MHz totalling 70 MHz...



    4. Pro-competitive measures
    4.1 Amount of set-aside
    In the Consultation, ISED proposed to set aside 30 MHz of spectrum in the 600 MHz band. This would provide eligible entities with an opportunity to increase their low-band spectrum holdings. The remaining 40 MHz would be open for all bidders.

    D1B—A total of 30 MHz of spectrum will be set aside for eligible entities in the auction process for the 600 MHz band.
    D1C—Eligibility to bid on set-aside spectrum will be limited to those registered with the CRTC as facilities-based providers, that are not national incumbent service providers... and that are actively providing commercial telecommunications services to the general public in the relevant Tier 2 service area of interest...
    D1D—Set-aside licences acquired by set-aside-eligible bidders will not be transferable to set-aside-ineligible entities for the first five years of the licence term.
    D1E—The set-aside spectrum will be auctioned as three separate paired blocks of 5+5 MHz.
    D13—The term of this licence is 20 years. At the end of this term, the licensee will have a high expectation that a new licence will be issued for a subsequent term through a renewal process, unless a breach of licence condition has occurred...

    9.3 Deployment requirements

    Table of Key Dates
    Dec 4 2018 - Deadline for applications and 100% deposit
    Dec 18 2018 - Publication of final list of qualified bidders
    Mar 12 2019 - Auction start

    Opening Bids

    --
    600 MHz Consultation
    Comments received
    Reply Comments Received
    Last edited by pjw918; 03-29-2018 at 12:00 PM.
    A Canadian tale of wireless competition, and Another
    From unjust discrimination to undue preference - a CRTC timeline

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    Good news for Shaw/Freedom. Hopefully they (Freedom) are able to purchase all of the 30 MHz in BC/AB/ON and not let spectrum horders purchase it (who will then sell it to Robellus 5 years later like they did during the AWS-1 auction many years ago). Eastlink has been buying up spectrum randomly in Ontario and a couple small towns in Alberta eventhough they don't really offer service there. I think they literally put up a single tower in Ontario/Alberta just so they wouldn't have to let go of the spectrum ("use it or lose it"), essentially spectrum hording. I think Eastlink will probably flip the spectrum to Robellus some years down the road.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phoneseeker101 View Post
    Good news for Shaw/Freedom. Hopefully they (Freedom) are able to purchase all of the 30 MHz in BC/AB/ON and not let spectrum horders purchase it (who will then sell it to Robellus 5 years later like they did during the AWS-1 auction many years ago). Eastlink has been buying up spectrum randomly in Ontario and a couple small towns in Alberta eventhough they don't really offer service there. I think they literally put up a single tower in Ontario/Alberta just so they wouldn't have to let go of the spectrum ("use it or lose it"), essentially spectrum hording. I think Eastlink will probably flip the spectrum to Robellus some years down the road.
    I was surprised to find out a couple months ago that Eastlink actually has used their spectrum. They have quite a large number of towers in Northern ON - check here and turn the filter on 'others' to Eastlink:
    http://www.ertyu.org/steven_nikkel/cancellsites.html

    More than just a handful if it was for spectrum squatting.

    Of course, this doesn't preclude them from selling the spectrum + existing deployment in the future.

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    Just to clarify for everyone, it's 15 MHz of 35 MHz (paired blocks) that are set aside for smaller operators.

    ISED counts uplink and downlink separately, but the LTE channel deployment will be 15 MHz maximum on B71.
    Want to learn more about how LTE works?
    https://productioncommunity.publicmo...ls/td-p/130581

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