Spectrum Set-Asides for New Entrants – AWS Auctions in Canada

Industry Canada, Policy Framework for the Auction for Spectrum Licences for Advanced Wireless Services and other Spectrum in the 2 GHz Range.  The Industry Canada auction framework document was issued in 2007 and elaborated on auction application procedures, licensing parameters, technical considerations, bidder applications and timing for next steps such as a mock auction for bidder familiarization.

Access to spectrum is a barrier to entry that only government can lift, and the amount and type of spectrum that can be made available at any given time are dependent on a range of international and domestic factors (for more on barriers to entry and the role of the regulator see related sub-sections in Module 2, Competition and Price Regulation). Even though, the spectrum being made available for the AWS auction has characteristics and is of sufficient amount to make potential new entry feasible, Industry Canada needed to consider whether the market, and in particular consumers, could benefit from further competition which would strengthen the country’s ability to rely on market forces to the maximum extent feasible. In this context, Industry Canada noted that other countries with competitive wireless markets, notably the U.S. and the U.K., have taken and continue to take measures to facilitate access to spectrum resources and market entry. http://www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/smt-gst.nsf/en/sf08833e.html.

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