The federal government says it raised $8.9 billion in a licence auction for a key band of 5G wireless spectrum in results announced this afternoon.
Canada’s Big Three wireless companies led the pack, grabbing hundreds of licences for the 3,500 MHz band of airwaves.
As well as Rogers, Bell and Telus, carriers gaining licences include Videotron, Xplornet and SaskTel.
Freedom Mobile, the country’s fourth largest cell service provider, chose not to participate in the auction amid a takeover deal of its parent company Shaw Communications Inc. by Rogers that has yet to be approved by regulators.
The United States held a similar auction last year, raising US$4.5 billion ($5.6 billion) in net proceeds. Ottawa’s $8.9 billion far outstrips the $3.5 billion raised in a 2019 spectrum auction for a different, less desirable wireless band.
In total, 1,495 out of 1,504 available licences were awarded to 15 Canadian companies, including 757 licences to small and regional providers across the country.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 29, 2021.
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The Canadian Press