Innovation, Science & Economic Development Canada (ISED) has announced a six-month postponement to the country’s 3500MHz 5G spectrum auction, which will now start on 15 June 2021, with a deadline for receipt of applications and pre-auction financial deposits set for 6 April. Minister Navdeep Bains said in a statement on Friday that the delay will ‘allow the telecommunications industry to maintain its focus on providing essential services to Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic’ while ISED ‘will continue to monitor COVID-19’s impact on the telecom industry and remains open to further changes to the timelines for spectrum auctions if necessary.’
In a parallel process, a deadline of 6 October 2020 has been set for applications to transfer existing fixed-wireless licences in the 3500MHz band to flexible licences, or to return licences to ISED for inclusion in the upcoming auction. The final lists of 3500MHz licences being auctioned/retained will be published by mid-February 2021. New 3500MHz licences will be valid for 20 years (see link below for full 3500MHz licensing conditions).
In addition, Bains announced that a consultation on prospects for 5G licensing in the 3800MHz band would be launched in August 2020.