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Analysis of Canadian Wireless Spectrum Auctions: Licence Ownership and Deployment in the 700 MHz, 2500 MHz and 3500 MHz Frequency Ranges

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Despite the Canadian government’s assertion that high-speed broadband access is crucial for economic and social benefit, there is minimal competition or availability of these services in rural or remote areas. Economic factors suggest that wireless technologies are best-suited to help rural residents meet the CRTC’s newly-released 50Mbps download speed target, but only 39% of rural and remote residents currently have access to these speeds. This presentation provides an overview of technologies used to provide rural and remote broadband services, traces the history of wireless spectrum auctions in Canada, and outlines spectrum access challenges faced by small service providers who are working to increase rural broadband penetration. There is a perception that wireless spectrum licenses are held mainly by incumbent internet service providers who use their licences inefficiently. To investigative this perception, ownership and deployment of auctioned licences was traced in three frequency ranges: 700 MHz (Mobile Broadband Service), 2500 MHz (Broadband Radio Service) and 3500 MHz (Fixed Wireless Access). Analysis suggests that Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada’s auction data is inconsistent, and cannot be easily used to link specific licences to current equipment deployments. Results support the claim that Canada’s Top 5 internet service providers dominate auction participation and licence ownership and that urban markets are the primary focus of licence deployments. The presentation concludes that auction design plays a significant role in the promotion of service competition and that monitoring and management of spectrum use should be improved.

  • Date created
    2018-02-02
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Conference/Workshop Presentation
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3MK65P51
  • License
    Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International