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Canadian 3.5GHz 5G auction raises CAD8.9bn

30 Jul 2021

Innovation, Science & Economic Development Canada (ISED) has announced the results of the country’s 3500MHz 5G frequency licence auction, raising CAD8.912 billion (USD7.146 billion) after 103 rounds of bidding. A total of 3,431 regional spectrum licences were assigned, including 1,495 licences won via auction and 1,936 ‘transitioned’ licences – existing fixed-wireless 3.5GHz permits converted to new licences enabling mobile or fixed 5G services. The 200MHz (3450MHz-3650MHz) bandwidth was divided into 20 10MHz TDD blocks in each of the 172 geographical licensing regions. Just nine licences went unsold. Out of 23 applicants, 20 winners were awarded 3.5GHz spectrum under 20-year ‘Tier 4’ concessions, including the following:

Rogers Communications won 325 licences at auction and received 509 transitioned licences, covering a combined 34.9 million population, costing CAD3.326 billion

Bell Canada won 271 licences at auction and received 490 transitioned licences, covering a combined 34.3 million population, costing CAD2.074 billion

Telus received 142/86 auctioned/transitioned licences covering 24.9 million people for CAD1.947 billion

Videotron: 294/five licences won/transitioned (30.0 million population, CAD830.0 million)

Cogeco Connexion: 38/80 licences won/transitioned (10.3 million population, CAD295.1 million)

Xplornet: 263/698 licences won/transitioned (16.6 million population, CAD244.4 million)

SaskTel won 68 licences at auction (1.1 million population, CAD145.1 million)

Eastlink won 50 licences at auction (2.3 million population, CAD27.9 million)

Tbaytel: four/15 licences won/transitioned (231,000 population, CAD1.1 million)

Iristel won eight licences at auction (219,000 population, CAD483,000).

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