Industry Canada says 15 participants in wireless spectrum auction

See who's bidding in January

Bell Mobility, Rogers Communications and Quebecor’s Videotron are among the prominent telecom companies that have put down a deposit to take part in Canada’s wireless spectrum auction next January.

Industry Canada says that a total of 15 participants – including Telus Corp. and the parent of Wind Mobile, Globalive Communications – have put down the refundable, 5% deposit for the auction next Jan. 14.

None of the 15 are large foreign companies but the list includes major regional players such as Videotron in Quebec, MTS Inc. in Manitoba and Bragg Communications, which operates EastLink in Atlantic Canada.

Two private equity firms have also on the list, a subsidiary of Birch Hill Equity Partners and Catalyst Capital, both based in Toronto.

Canada’s big three carriers – Rogers, Bell and Telus – have about 25 million customers between them and dominate the market, making it difficult for new players of any size to attract customers.

However, the federal government has said it would like to have at least four wireless competitors in each region of the country.

The 700 megahertz auction of radio waves has been called the equivalent of “beachfront property” by analysts.

These radio waves have the ability to allow cellphone signals to reach into elevators, deep into underground parking lots, traffic tunnels and basements where calls are often dropped and will also help meet consumers’ growing use of smartphones and tablets.

The signal can also travel greater distances and, in rural Canada, will require fewer cellphone towers to provide coverage.

The previous auction in 2008 raised $4.3 billion and brought more competition to the cellphone market with the launch of Wind Mobile, Mobilcity, Public Mobile, Videotron and Eastlink.

Media Articles

Remembering Suzanne Raitt

The industry shares fond memories of Newspapers Canada's VP and CMO

On The Move: Changes at FCB, eBay, Defy and Hill + Knowlton

A weekly recap of who's headed where in Canadian marketing and communications

Ex-CEO of Accuen joins Kik Interactive

Global ad executive will work to build partner ecosystem around social network

Google looks to make YouTube more shoppable on mobile

Viewers will be able to browse products, link directly to retailer's sites from within ad video

Sprint hires Kevin Crull as CMO

Former president of Bell Media to oversee advertising and social media efforts

4 ways to get the media coverage you want

Industry experts share their tips of the trade

Spotify expands lineup to include video, podcasts, radio

Move suggests steaming service looking to cash in on digital video advertising: analyst

Discover Media takes ‘channel-agnostic’ to new heights

Play Taxi alum says new platform centralizes buying across every media channel