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Industry Canada concludes spectrum auction

Industry Canada has issued 97 licences to eight Canadian companies in an auction for the use of the 700 MHz wireless spectrum. These allocations have a term of 20 years and will be used to deliver new wireless services such as LTE. According to Industry Canada, the licences will enable a fourth wireless provider in each region of the country. The deployment conditions are intended to ensure that consumers in rural and remote regions benefit from the use of the spectrum. Companies will be able to begin deploying services using this spectrum in mid-April.

The auction comprised 108 rounds of bidding over 22 business days and raised $5.27 billion in revenue for the government. Industry Canada described this as the highest return ever for a wireless auction in Canada. Rogers was the biggest purchaser, bidding $3.29 billion for 22 licences. Telus bid $1.14 billion for 30 licences, while Bell bid $565 million for 31 licences. Videotron spent $233 million for seven licences, while Bragg spent $20 million for four licences. MTS, SaskTel and Feenix purchased one licence each. One licence offered remained unsold.

"Our wireless policy is designed to benefit Canadian consumers, first and foremost," said Industry Minister James Moore. "Canadians will soon benefit from a fourth wireless player in every region of the country having access to this high-quality spectrum to provide all Canadians with dependable, high-speed wireless services on the latest technologies. Canadians have been clear that they want more choice, lower prices and better service in our wireless industry. With this auction, Canadian consumers are the big winners."

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