Announcement of 700 MHz Spectrum Auction Results

Transcript: Announcement of 700 MHz Spectrum Auction Results

Good afternoon.

Our government has aggressively pursued policy decisions in the wireless sector with a very clear goal in mind: more choice, lower prices and better services for Canadian consumers in every region of Canada.

Recently, we made important decisions to put consumers first in Canada's wireless sector.

We liberalized foreign investment rules in our telecom sector.

We introduced new rules that require wireless companies to share cell towers, whenever they can, so that fewer towers are needed in our communities.

We also believe that communities need to have more say in how new cell tower locations are chosen.

We are tackling wholesale wireless roaming rates, as well, to promote greater competition across Canada.

And we are empowering the CRTC and Industry Canada to impose penalties on wireless carriers that don't play by the rules.

And in 2015, we will hold the 2500 MHz spectrum auction—with rules specifically designed to benefit consumers, particularly those Canadians who live in rural parts of our country.

And today, I am pleased to announce the results of the 700 MHz spectrum auction.

On the 14th of January, Canada's 700 MHz spectrum auction began; 700 MHz spectrum is the highest-quality wireless frequency ever auctioned in Canada.

This spectrum travels longer distances, requires fewer cell towers and penetrates through building walls, elevators and even through underground parking lots.

Ten Canadian companies competed over the last five weeks in this auction.

And the auction had 108 rounds of bidding.

In total, 97 licences have been awarded to eight companies across Canada.

This wireless spectrum auction is a clear win for Canadians.

First and foremost, eight wireless carriers, including at least four wireless players in every region of the country, now hold this high-quality spectrum.

Each of Canada's three largest national wireless companies was able to obtain a significant amount of the 700 MHz spectrum to deploy the latest technologies to their existing customers across Canada.

And key regional players—like SaskTel, MTS, Videotron, Eastlink—have all secured spectrum to maintain and expand their regional footprints.

And this auction also yielded a valuable return for Canadian taxpayers.

Just as a reminder, the AWS spectrum auction that took place in 2008 raised roughly $4.3 billion.

The total revenue that was generated from this auction is $5.27 billion, the highest return ever for a wireless auction in Canada.

This revenue will go directly to the Consolidated Revenue Fund within the next 30 business days.

And here are the results broken down by province.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, Bell, Eastlink, Rogers and TELUS won licences.

In Nova Scotia, Bell, Eastlink, Rogers and TELUS won licences.

In Prince Edward Island, Bell, Eastlink, Rogers and TELUS won licences.

And in New Brunswick, Bell, Eastlink, Rogers and TELUS won licences.

In Quebec, Videotron, TELUS, Rogers and Bell won licences.

In Ontario, four wireless providers will receive 700 MHz spectrum.

Videotron, Bell, Rogers and TELUS won licences in northern Ontario.

While Eastlink, Bell, Rogers and TELUS won licences in the south.

In the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, Bell, Feenix and TELUS will join existing players with 700 MHz spectrum licences.

And in Manitoba, Bell, MTS, Rogers and TELUS won licences.

In Saskatchewan, Bell, SaskTel, TELUS and Rogers won licences.

And in Alberta, there are four wireless providers that will receive 700 MHz spectrum licences: Videotron, Rogers, Bell and TELUS.

And in my home province of British Columbia, four wireless providers will receive 700 MHz spectrum licences: Bell, TELUS, Videotron and Rogers.

So in summary, the outcome of the auction supports more choice for Canadians by enabling a fourth wireless player in every region of Canada.

Incumbent wireless companies have secured spectrum to deliver the next generation of wireless devices to their customers.

And the auction revenue of $5.27 billion, which is the most ever for a wireless auction in Canada, will be reinvested in priorities that matter to Canadians.

Companies that obtained the spectrum will be able to start using these high-quality frequencies to serve their customers by mid-April.

And the success of this auction is certainly not a coincidence.

The auction was a success because the rules were designed to put consumers front and centre.

In the summer of 2013, there was a great debate across this country regarding our government's wireless policy.

Much of this debate has been filled with assumptions and speculation, some misinformation also, about the government's policies and the outcome of today's auction.

But while this debate has played out amongst analysts and commentators, our government had one clear goal that we focused on, which was to take concrete steps to create more choice with lower prices and better wireless services for Canadians all across this country.

And with today's results, it's clear that we made the right decisions.

And because of this, Canadians are the big winners of this spectrum auction.

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