Industry Canada has released its final timetable for the auction of the digital dividend 700MHz 4G mobile broadband spectrum band in November this year. The ministry’s ‘Licensing Framework for Mobile Broadband Services (MBS) — 700 MHz Band’ set the timetable as follows:
-Deadline for receipt of clarification questions, 27 March 2013.
-Publication of responses to clarification questions, 20 May 2013.
-Deadline for receipt of applications, 11 June.
-Publication of the list of applicants, 18 June.
-Publication of the list of provisionally qualified bidders, 26 July.
-Publication of final list of qualified bidders, 23 September.
-Opening of bidding, 19 November 2013.
-Announcement of provisional licence winners, within five business days following cessation of bidding.
As previously announced, Canada will award 700MHz mobile licences split into 14 geographical areas, each zone offering five blocks of paired spectrum and two blocks of unpaired spectrum, making a total of 98 licences on offer.
A spectrum cap of two paired frequency blocks will apply to all licensees in each of the 14 zones, therefore allowing scope for new or less established entrants in the mobile market; the unpaired blocks will not be subject to a spectrum cap.
Furthermore, a spectrum cap of one paired spectrum block from within certain blocks – B, C, C1 and C2 – will apply to all large wireless service providers – i.e. the nationwide operators Rogers, Bell and Telus.
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