Quebecor, the parent of Quebec-based quadruple-play network operator Videotron, has announced the sale of Videotron’s Advanced Wireless Services (AWS-1) 1700MHz/2100MHz mobile spectrum licence in the Greater Toronto region to Rogers Communications for approximately CAD184 million (USD137 million), pursuant to a transfer option on the frequencies held by Videotron since 2013. The transaction has been approved by the relevant regulatory authorities, and is expected to close this week. Quebecor announced that the deal will assist in funding Videotron’s ongoing network investment plans in Quebec and Eastern Ontario, including an aggressive 4G mobile network expansion and densification, anticipated 5G network deployment and upgrades to the company’s IP-based multi-play fixed network services.
TeleGeography recorded that in May 2013 Rogers agreed in principle a price of CAD180 million to acquire Videotron’s unused AWS-1 spectrum in Greater Toronto after Q1 2014 when Videotron’s five-year moratorium on licence transfer expired, although the deal was subject to review under the federal spectrum licence transfer policy in effect at the time. Rogers will use the additional 10MHz spectrum block to bolster its 4G services in Southern Ontario, where it already utilises 30MHz of AWS spectrum (20MHz won in the original 2008 licence auction, and 10MHz transferred from Wind Mobile in 2015, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database).