Connections +
News

Bell Canada calls for open auction of wireless spectrum

Bell Canada today recommended that Industry Canada auction wireless spectrum for Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) u...


May 25, 2007  


Print this page

Bell Canada today recommended that Industry Canada auction wireless spectrum for Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) using an open framework that does not give potential new entrants special advantages.

“Bell believes the purpose of the auction should be to deliver AWS spectrum to those who will use it best and secure appropriate compensation for the taxpayers of Canada,” said Lawson Hunter, executive vice president and chief corporate officer at Bell.

“It is the approach most consistent with the government’s clearly articulated policy directive to minimize regulatory interference and rely on market forces to the maximum extent possible.”

In a submission to Industry Canada, the company said that the Canadian wireless market is highly competitive with three national carriers, two regional carriers and a number of resellers and MVNOs.

It pointed out that average revenue per minute in Canada is the second lowest across the G7, while minutes of use is well above average and Canadian carriers continue to expand their advanced third-generation multimedia offerings.

Bell said that government interventions in the market such as spectrum caps or set-asides in the auction process would, in effect, subsidize new entrants at the expense of Canadians.

“Industry Canada’s obligation is to obtain the maximum benefit for AWS spectrum for all Canadians — not just new entrants,” said Hunter.

“The simplest way to achieve that goal is to auction off the AWS spectrum to the highest bidders who can use it to deliver the next generation of communications tools and services.”