Premium Airwaves for Cell Phones Up for Grabs

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Last updated April 12, 2019

Premium airwaves are to enable cell phone service providers to deliver better coverage, which will encompass more areas and reduce dropouts.  This will be up for grabs when the Canadian Federal Government puts the airwaves up for auction toward the end of next year. 

“If we are looking at it as real estate, this is beachfront property,” claims SeaBoard Group analyst Amit Kaminer.  The airwaves are going to be up for grabs as a result of Canadian television broadcasters ceasing to broadcast analog signals and converting to all digital television channels, meaning the whole of the seven hundred megahertz spectrum will be open for use by others.  “Everybody wants that spectrum because it translates to lower cost of deployment, faster roll out, better penetration,” Kaminer adds.  The SeaBoard Group has thrown its weight behind the idea of using the soon to be free spectrum to wireless carriers in Canada in order to keep the nation’s cell phone industry more competitive.  Other carriers who have also supported the ideas of a free for all bidding campaign for the radio waves include Rogers, Bell and Telus, who also all say it will allow them to create more advanced networks to give better performance for new services such as video-streaming on tablets and Smart-phones and so on.  They do not want special treatment for new wireless carriers.  However, the new companies understandably do not agree, with Stewart Lyons from Mobilicity noting that if the airwaves are simply given to the highest bidder, the big companies would simply outbid the newcomers and end up with an ‘unrestrained role’ in any auction.