NEWS

James Moore to announce rules for next wireless spectrum auction today

12/18/2014 11:04 EST | Updated 02/17/2015 05:59 EST
Canadian Industry Minister James Moore is expected to announce today new rules for the next wireless spectrum auction that will favour smaller players.

Moore is scheduled to speak in Vancouver at 1 p.m. PT. The next federal spectrum auction will release new bandwidth that could help upgrade Canada’s wireless system.

The Harper government has been attempting to increase competition in the wireless industry, in the hope that will lead to lower prices for Canadians.

CBC News has confirmed with government sources that the rules for the next federal auction will be structured to encourage smaller players.

While wireless startups such as Public Mobile, Mobilicity and Wind first began in Canada in 2008, they have had trouble competing with the big telecoms.

The federal government raised $5.27 billion auctioning off the 700 megahertz spectrum in February, but the big three players —​ Telus, Bell and Rogers — still got the bulk of the new airwaves.

Videotron, the Quebec-based carrier, also picked up spectrum in Ontario, B.C. and Alberta, but has yet to announce plans to roll out a network.

Wind, the small carrier with ambitions of spreading across the country, was unable to bid in February’s auction because its backer, Vimpelcom was not willing to advance more capital.

However, Wind has since restructured with a new group taking over Vimpelcom’s stake, and has said it hopes to bid for next generation wireless spectrum.

MORE:cbcNews