Spectrum auction to spark competition, innovation, says Industry Canada exec

Minister of Industry Jim Prentice has urged greater competition and increased innovation in the wireless sector. His comments were made during Industry Canada’s release last week of details on how the auction for Advanced Wireless Services spectrum, set for May 27 2008, will be conducted.

Spectrum is used by wireless providers to offer services such as music, video and Internet access over wireless devices. Under Industry Canada’s auction details, 40 MHz will be set aside exclusively for new entrants to bid on out of the 105 MHz of spectrum to be made available. The other 65 MHz will be open to all bidders.

Prentice said the Ministry is looking for greater competition in the market and further innovation in the industry.

“At the end of the day, our goals are lower prices, better service and more choice for consumers and business,” said Prentice. “That is why we are setting aside a portion of radio spectrum exclusively for new entrants into the wireless market.”

A public consultation was launched by Industry Canada last February on the best way to conduct an auction for the available spectrum.

Prentice said the comments received during the public consultation were taken into consideration, and that measures should be taken to enhance competition in this market.

“Spectrum is a scarce and valuable resource that is used by all Canadians. It is up to the government to decide how it is to be deployed, to best meet the growing and diverse needs of Canadians.”

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