Archived — Government of Canada Opens Up Wireless Industry to More Competition

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Ottawa, May 27, 2008—The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry, today announced the opening of the bidding process for the Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum auction. This auction follows a commitment made by this government to enable more competition in the wireless market. A total of 105 megahertz (MHz) of radio spectrum will be open for bidding, which includes 40 MHz of AWS spectrum for new entrants and another 65 MHz of spectrum for all bidders.

"Our government's intentions are clear: to achieve lower prices, better service and more choice for consumers and business," said Minister Prentice. "We believe in relying on market forces to the maximum extent feasible because competition benefits consumers, and consumers benefit most when markets are as competitive as they can be."

The auction will unfold over many scheduled rounds. Bidding will occur electronically over the Internet using secure encryption technology. After each round of bidding is completed, the results will be made available to bidders and to the general public on the Industry Canada website. Successive rounds will be held until the cessation of all bidding activity, at which time the auction will close.

Following the close of the auction, winning bidders will be required to submit ownership and control documentation and to complete various payment transactions within 30 business days. Once these steps have been completed, Industry Canada will review the information submitted by each bidder and issue licences as appropriate.

Radio spectrum is the airwaves required for all wireless services, and it is a finite and valuable resource that is used by all Canadians. Since it is a limited national resource, it is the Government of Canada's responsibility to decide how it is to be managed in order to best meet the growing and diverse needs of Canadians.

Further details on the auction of spectrum licences for AWS can be found at http://www.ic.gc.ca/spectrumauctions.

For further information (media only), please contact:

Deirdra McCracken
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jim Prentice
Minister of Industry
613-995-9001

Media Relations
Industry Canada
613-943-2502

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