Decision on the Request Received From Bell Mobility to Exchange Seven Licences in the 2500 MHz Band for Similar Unassigned Licences

Request

On June 18, 2015, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) received a request from Bell Mobility ("Bell") to exchange seven licences in the 2500 MHz band. Specifically, Bell requested an exchange of seven of its Block A licences for the corresponding Block G licences which remain unassigned following the recent auction. The licences are summarized in Annex A.

A public notice seeking comments was published by ISED on February 5, 2016. Comments were received from three stakeholders: Rogers Communications Canada Inc., Saskatchewan Telecommunications and TELUS Communications Company. All three stakeholders were in favour of granting the request.

Decision

The exchange of licences between the Department and Bell is approved.

Rationale

In Licensing Framework for Broadband Radio Service (BRS)-2500 MHz Band, the Department recognized the efficiency gains from contiguous blocks of spectrum and, as such, designed the auction to assign bidders contiguous blocks whenever possible. The Department acknowledged that assigning contiguous blocks supported its policy objective to facilitate the efficient use of spectrum. Granting Bell’s request will increase the contiguity of its spectrum and therefore be consistent with the Department’s policy objectives.

The seven licences currently held by Bell are identical in service area, block size and band to the seven licences it is requesting in return from the Department. Therefore, this exchange will not impact the ability of existing or future competitors to provide services, given that there will be no change in the post-exchange concentration of commercial mobile spectrum in the affected licence areas. The Department plans to make the licences voluntarily revoked by Bell available through a future licensing process.

Any further requests of this nature will be reviewed by ISED on a case-by-case basis and the Department may conduct a consultation where necessary.

ANNEX A: Summary of Licence Exchange

2500 MHz Licences Held by Bell to be Voluntarily Revoked
Block Frequency Range (MHz) Service Area
A / A' 2500-2510/ 2620-2630 Kingston (3-20)
A / A' 2500-2510/ 2620-2630 Kootenays (3-50)
A / A' 2500-2510/ 2620-2630 Nanaimo (3-54)
A / A' 2500-2510/ 2620-2630 Courtenay (3-55)
A / A' 2500-2510/ 2620-2630 Thompson/Cariboo (3-56)
A / A' 2500-2510/ 2620-2630 Prince George (3-57)
A / A' 2500-2510/ 2620-2630 Dawson Creek (3-58)
2500 MHz Licences to be Issued to Bell by the Department
Block Frequency Range (MHz) Service Area
G / G' 2560-2570/ 2680-2690 Kingston (3-20)
G / G' 2560-2570/ 2680-2690 Kootenays (3-50)
G / G' 2560-2570/ 2680-2690 Nanaimo (3-54)
G / G' 2560-2570/ 2680-2690 Courtenay (3-55)
G / G' 2560-2570/ 2680-2690 Thompson/Cariboo (3-56)
G / G' 2560-2570/ 2680-2690 Prince George (3-57)
G / G' 2560-2570/ 2680-2690 Dawson Creek (3-58)
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