By Howard Solomon

Assistant editor, Network World Canada

It’s now four days after the AWS spectrum auction closed, time enough take a breath and ask who won and who lost.
“Everybody lost,” says Mark Tauschek, a telecom analyst at Info-Tech Research. The new entrants vastly overpaid for spectrum as the values were bid up, he says, endangering their ability to pay for the networks needed to run the services they’ll be offering.
Meanwhile Rogers, Bell and Telus scooped up [or could afford to make unaffordable to others] valuable 20Mhz city-wide licences, which he says will be for their future high-speed next-generation networks.
There is some validity to this view. Most of what the new entrants won is 10Mzh spectrum, except for the 20Mhz province-wide spectrum Industry Canada forbid the incumbents from getting.
That’s one of the reasons why Iain Grant, managing director of the SeaBoard Group consultancy, isn’t impressed with all of the 10MHz licences Globalive rounded up across much of the country. That’s fine for voice services, he notes, but not good enough if customers start intensively using data services.
The solution to that and the cost of building infrastructure, he says, is for new entrants to share their licences to make the most of the 20Mhz spectrum they have and co-operate on

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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