O2 — Spectrum licences issued via the 700 MHz residual auction (2018)

The following conditions of licence apply to all 700 MHz licences awarded through the 2018 residual spectrum auction process.

It should be noted that the licences are subject to the relevant provisions in the Radiocommunication Act and the Radiocommunication Regulations, as amended from time to time. For example, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development continues to have the power to amend the terms and conditions of spectrum licences (paragraph 5(1)(b) of the Radiocommunication Act). The Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development may do so for reasons including furtherance of the policy objectives set out in section 7 of the Telecommunications Act and the policy objectives related to this band. Such action would normally only be undertaken after consultation.

1. Licence term

The term of this licence is 20 years. At the end of this term, the licensee will have a high expectation that a new licence will be issued for a subsequent term through a renewal process unless a breach of licence condition has occurred, a fundamental reallocation of spectrum to a new service is required, or an overriding policy need arises.

The process for issuing licences after this term and any issues relating to renewal, including the terms and conditions of the new licence, will be determined by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development following a public consultation.

2. Eligibility

The licensee must comply on an ongoing basis with the applicable eligibility criteria in subsection 9(1) of the Radiocommunication Regulations. The licensee must notify the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development of any change that would have a material effect on its eligibility. Such notification must be made in advance for any proposed transactions within its knowledge.

3. Spectrum aggregation limits

The licensee must comply with the spectrum aggregation limits as follows:

A limit of two paired spectrum blocks in the 700 MHz band within blocks A, B, C, C1 and C2 is applicable to all licensees.

A limit of one paired spectrum block within blocks B, C, C1 and C2 is applicable to all licensees which are large wireless service providers. Large wireless service providers are defined as companies with 10% or more of the national wireless subscriber market share, or 20% or more of the wireless subscriber market share in the province of the relevant licence area. The determination of subscriber market share will be based on the 2012 CRTC Communications Monitoring Report.

These spectrum aggregation limits will continue for five years from the date of licence issuance. No transfer of licences or issuance of new licences will be authorized if it would result in a licensee exceeding the spectrum aggregation limits during this period. Any change in ownership or control of a licensee or any other agreement that has the effect of granting a right or interest in a 700 MHz licence to another licensee in this band may be considered as a licence transfer for the purpose of this condition of licence whether or not the licensee name is changed as a result. The licensee must request approval by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development for any change that would have a material effect on its compliance with these spectrum aggregation limits. Such a request must be made in advance for any proposed transactions within its knowledge. At any time, at the request of ISED, the licensee will be required to provide updated information demonstrating ongoing compliance with this condition of licence.

4. Licence transferability, divisibility and subordinate licensing

This licence is transferable in whole or in part (divisibility), in both bandwidth and geographic dimensions, subject to ISED's approval. A subordinate licence may also be issued in regard to this licence, subject to ISED's approval.

The licensee must make the transfer request in writing to ISED. The transfer request will be treated as set out in Client Procedures Circular CPC-2-1-23, Licensing Procedure for Spectrum Licences for Terrestrial Services, as amended from time to time. The licensee must apply in writing to ISED for approval prior to implementing any deemed transfer, which will be treated as set out in CPC-2-1-23. The implementation of a deemed transfer without the prior approval of ISED will be considered a breach of this condition of licence.

Should the licensee enter into any agreement that provides for a prospective transfer with another holder of a licence for commercial mobile spectrum (including any affiliate, agent or representative of the other licence holder), it must apply in writing to ISED for review of the prospective transfer within 15 days of entering into the agreement, which will be treated as set out in CPC-2-1-23. Should ISED issue a decision indicating that the prospective transfer is not approved, it will be a breach of this condition of licence for a licensee to remain in an agreement that provides for the prospective transfer for a period of more than 90 days from the date of the decision.

In all cases, the licensee must follow the procedures as outlined in CPC-2-1-23. The terms "affiliate", "agreement", "deemed transfer", "licence", "prospective transfer", "subordinate licence", and "transfer request" have the meaning ascribed to them in CPC-2-1-23. Subordinate licences will generally count towards the subordinate licensee's spectrum aggregation limit unless the primary licensee and the subordinate licensee demonstrate to the satisfaction of ISED that they will be separately and actively providing services to customers in the applicable licence area. Where approval for a subordinate licence that would otherwise exceed the spectrum aggregation limit is granted, licensees must implement their plans to the satisfaction of ISED for at least the duration of the aggregation limits that are in place. Any modifications to these plans must be submitted to ISED for approval.

ISED may consider requests from licensees to exchange spectrum blocks in the same geographic area provided that the exchange does not result in the spectrum aggregation limit being exceeded or an increase in spectrum licence holdings for existing licensees that already exceed the aggregation limit. ISED may grant such requests based on the merits of the proposal.

5. Treatment of existing spectrum users

The licensee must comply with the displacement policies set out in SMSE-002-12, Policy and Technical Framework: Mobile Broadband Services (MBS) – 700 MHz Band, Broadband Radio Service (BRS) – 2500 MHz Band.

6. Radio station installations

The licensee must comply with Client Procedures Circular CPC-2-0-03, Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems, as amended from time to time.

7. Provision of technical information

When ISED requests technical information on a particular station or network, the licensee must provide the information in accordance with the definitions, criteria, frequency and timelines specified in the request. For further information, refer to Client Procedures Circular CPC-2-1-23, Licensing Procedure for Spectrum Licences for Terrestrial Services, as amended from time to time.

8. Compliance with legislation, regulation and other obligations

The licensee is subject to, and must comply with, the Radiocommunication Act and the Radiocommunication Regulations, as amended from time to time. The licensee must use the assigned spectrum in accordance with the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations and the spectrum policies applicable to this band, as amended from time to time. The licence is issued on condition that all representations made in relation to obtaining this licence are all true and complete in every respect.

9. Technical considerations, and international and domestic coordination

The licensee must comply on an ongoing basis with the technical aspects of the appropriate Radio Standards Specifications (RSS) and Standard Radio System Plans (SRSP), as amended from time to time. Where applicable, the licensee must use its best efforts to enter into mutually acceptable agreements with other parties for facilitating the reasonable and timely development of their respective systems, and to coordinate with other licensed users in Canada and internationally.

The licensee must comply with the obligations arising from current and future frequency coordination agreements established between Canada and other countries and shall be required to provide information or take actions to implement these obligations as indicated in the applicable SRSP. Although frequency assignments are not subject to site licensing, the licensee may be required through the appropriate SRSP to furnish all necessary technical data for each relevant site.

10. Lawful interception

The licensee operating as a telecommunication common carrier using the spectrum for voice telephony systems must, from the inception of service, provide for and maintain lawful interception capabilities as authorized by law. The requirements for lawful interception capabilities are provided in the Solicitor General's Enforcement Standards for Lawful Interception of Telecommunications (Rev. Nov. 95). These standards may be amended from time to time.

The licensee may request the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development to forbear from enforcing certain assistance capability requirements for a limited period of time. The Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, following consultation with Public Safety Canada, may exercise the power to forbear from enforcing a requirement or requirements where, in the opinion of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, the requirement is not reasonably achievable. Requests for forbearance must include specific details and dates indicating when compliance to the requirement can be expected.

11. Research and development

The licensee must invest, as a minimum, 2% of its adjusted gross revenues resulting from the use of this licence, averaged over the term of the licence, in eligible research and development (R&D) activities related to telecommunications. Eligible R&D activities are those which meet the definition of scientific research and experimental development adopted in the Income Tax Act, as amended from time to time. Adjusted gross revenues are defined as total service revenues, less inter-carrier payments, bad debts, third party commissions, and provincial goods and services taxes collected. The licensee is exempt from R&D expenditure requirements if it, together with all affiliated licensees that are subject to the R&D condition of licence, has less than $1 billion in annual gross operating revenues from the provision of wireless services in Canada, averaged over the term of the licence. For this condition of licence, an affiliate is defined as a person who controls the carrier, or who is controlled by the carrier or by any person who controls the carrier, as per subsection 35(3) of the Telecommunications Act.

12. Rural deployment requirements

Where the licensee holds licences for two or more paired blocks of 700 MHz spectrum in a licence area, or has access to two or more paired blocks of 700 MHz spectrum in a licence area either directly or indirectly, the licensee must deploy 700 MHz spectrum:

  1. to cover 90% of the population of its HSPA network footprint as of March 2012, within five years of the issuance of the initial 700 MHz licence; and
  2. to cover 97% of the population of its HSPA network footprint as of March 2012, within seven years of the issuance of the initial 700 MHz licence.

For the purpose of this condition, "access" includes situations where a licensee enters into an agreement with another 700 MHz licensee in the same licence area that provides the ability to carry the other licensee's subscriber traffic (other than via a typical roaming agreement) regardless of whether the frequencies of both licensees are in use. In determining whether a party has access, ISED may review documentation that sets out the details of any agreement to use the spectrum, agreements related to network architecture or any other technical or commercial information or agreements between the parties.

The licensee must notify the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development of any new agreement that would provide the licensee with access to spectrum in any licence area where this condition has not yet been satisfied. In addition, the licensee must provide the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development with any documentation or information related to spectrum access or HSPA network footprints at the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development's request.

13. General deployment requirement

Licensees will be required to demonstrate to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development that this spectrum has been put to use, as specified in annex E of SLPB-009-17, Licensing Framework for Residual Spectrum Licences in the 700 MHz, 2500 MHz, 2300 MHz and PCS-G Bands, within 10 years of the initial issuance of the licence.

Where the licence is transferred during the initial 10 years, the requirement for the new licensee to deploy will continue to be based on the initial licence issuance date. Deployment by a subordinate licensee will count towards the requirement of the primary licensee.

14. Mandatory antenna tower and site sharing

The licensee must comply with the mandatory antenna tower and site sharing requirements set out in Client Procedures Circular CPC-2-0-17, Conditions of Licence for Mandatory Roaming and Antenna Tower and Site Sharing and to Prohibit Exclusive Site Arrangements, as amended from time to time.

15. Mandatory roaming

The licensee must comply with the mandatory roaming requirements set out in Client Procedures Circular CPC-2-0-17, Conditions of Licence for Mandatory Roaming and Antenna Tower and Site Sharing and to Prohibit Exclusive Site Arrangements, as amended from time to time.

16. Annual report

The licensee must submit an annual report for each year of the licence term, which includes the following information:

  • a statement indicating continued compliance with all conditions of licence
  • an update on the implementation and spectrum usage within the area covered by the licence
  • existing audited financial statements with an accompanying auditor's report
  • a statement indicating the annual gross operating revenues from the provision of wireless services in Canada and, where applicable, the annual adjusted gross revenues resulting from the use of this licence, as defined in these conditions of licence
  • a report of the R&D expenditures as set out in these conditions of licence. ISED may request an audited statement of R&D expenditures with an accompanying auditor's report at its discretion
  • supporting financial statements where a licensee is claiming an exemption based on, together with all affiliated licensees that are subject to the R&D condition of licence, it having less than $1 billion in annual gross operating revenues from the provision of wireless services in Canada, averaged over the term of the licence
  • a copy of any existing corporate annual report for the licensee's fiscal year with respect to the authorization
  • other information related to the licence as specified in any notice updating the reporting requirements as issued by ISED

All reports and statements are to be certified by an officer of the company and submitted, in writing, within 120 days of the licensee's fiscal year-end. Confidential information provided will be treated in accordance with subsection 20(1) of the Access to Information Act.

Reports are to be submitted to ISED at the following address:

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Spectrum Management Operations Branch
Manager, Emerging Networks
235 Queen Street (6th Floor, East Tower)
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H5

17. Amendments

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development retains the discretion to amend these terms and conditions of licence at any time.

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