AWS-3 Spectrum Auction

July 07, 2014 08:20 PM

The Government of Canada has consistently made decisions to provide Canadians with more choice, lower prices and better service.


In the 2008 Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum auction and in the 700 MHz wireless spectrum auction in 2014, measures were enacted to promote competition in all regions of the country and protect consumers' interests.

To further encourage competition and make more spectrum available for operating new entrants, the Government will set aside one 30 MHz block of AWS-3 spectrum for these providers in each region of the country. Wireless carriers with less than 10 percent national and 20 percent provincial/territorial wireless subscriber market share will be eligible to bid on the set-aside in licence areas where they are providing services to Canadians. This auction will take place before the 2500 MHz auction, which is scheduled to start in April 2015.


AWS-3 spectrum was identified in the Industry Canada 2013 Commercial Mobile Spectrum Outlook as a future source of additional commercial mobile spectrum with a projected licensing date as early as 2015. The AWS-3 spectrum band is adjacent to the AWS spectrum auctioned in 2008 and is well-suited for delivering next-generation commercial mobile services, including those using Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology. Industry Canada is anticipating its proximity to the AWS band will facilitate expedited network deployment and availability of consumer handsets.


To develop an auction and licensing framework for the AWS-3 spectrum band, the Government is holding a public consultation this summer. Feedback is being sought on proposed details, including:

  • Whether licences for AWS-3 should include deployment requirements in both the short term (for example, five years after the licences are issued) and the long term (ten years after); and
  • Whether a simplified and accelerated auction process, using a sealed-bid format, would be the best approach to encourage participation.
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